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Rabbit Fever Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What Is Rabbit Fever ?

Rabbit fever is infrequent infectious disease that can directly attack the eyes, skin, lungs, lymph nodes, and, sometimes, other body organs too. It is also known as tularemia or deer fly fever. The “Francisella tularensis” is a bacterium which causes rabbit fever. Mainly, the disease affects animals, such as hares, rabbits and rodents, even though also it can infect fish, reptiles and birds.

It spreads to humans via several routes, comprising insect bites as well as direct exposure to any infected one. Extremely contagious and fatal potentially, rabbit fever usually can be cured efficiently with specific drugs combinations (antibiotics) if identified early.

What Are The Symptoms Of Rabbit Fever ?

The symptoms of rabbit fever appear in just 2 to 10 days. There are several types of rabbit fever (tularemia), such as:

  • Ulceroglandular tularemia

This is the most common disease form. Symptoms comprise:

  • Skin ulcer at the site of infection due to an animal or insect bite.
  • Painful and Swollen lymph glands.
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Exhaustion
  • Headache
  • Oculoglandular tularemia

In this, eyes are usually affected:

  • Eye redness
  • Eye pain
  • Swelling and discharge from eyes
  • Presence of ulcer inside the eyelid
  • Oropharyngeal tularemia

Generally, it occurs due to poorly or under cooked meat or due to contaminated water, thus affecting digestive tract. Following symptoms are usually seen:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Sore throat
  • Vomiting
  • Pneumonic tularemia

It is common in people already having typhoidal tularemia. The symptoms are same as in pneumonia:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Cough
  • Typhoidal tularemia

This type is very rare and requires doctor’s assistance. The symptoms include:

What Are The Causes Of Rabbit Fever ?

Rabbit fever does not occur in humans naturally and is not identified as contagious. Though, tularemia is present worldwide, in rural areas especially, as many animals, birds, fish and insects got infected with the bacterium, F. tularensis. This organism may live for many weeks in water, soil as well as dead animals. Generally, you can attain rabbit fever via:

  • Insect bites.
  • Exposure to dead or sick animals.
  • Contaminated water or food.
  • Airborne bacteria.

How Rabbit Fever Is Diagnosis ?

As it is uncommon and shares sign and symptoms with certain diseases, rabbit fever may be problematic to analyze. Sputum or blood samples are taken by the doctors to check for the presence of F. tularensis since this encourages the bacteria growth. However, the most preferable method to diagnose rabbit fever is to pinpoint antibodies against the bacteria in a blood sample. Also, you are likely to done a chest X-ray to further find out the pneumonia signs.

How Rabbit Fever Is Treatment ?

Rabbit fever can be successfully treated with medications (antibiotics for example: gentamicin or streptomycin) which are introduced IM/ IV directly into a vein or muscle. The treatment of rabbit fever depends on its type; doctors may suggest oral antibiotics like doxycycline (Vibramycin, Oracea) instead.

Also you will receive treatment therapy for certain complications like pneumonia or meningitis. Generally, you must have strong immune to rabbit fever after getting better from this fever, but there are chances of a reinfection or recurrence.

By : Natural Health News

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