A warning is out about for Oklahoma hunters as rabbits have tested positive for rabbit fever.
Hunters are warned by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife to be careful regarding a bacterial infection called tularemia, colloquially referred to as “rabbit fever.”
Two cases were found in the state in the Blanchard area and the environs of Altus Air Force Base. It is suspected that rabbits are not the only carriers for the disease and it may also be present in beavers, hares and muskrats. There is also potential it is in contaminated water.
Hunters are warned to avoid rabbits that appear lethargic and to refrain from drinking non-treated water. Wear rubber gloves when handling wild game and ensure meat is fully cooked before consumption.
The disease is transmitted by ticks and fleas from infected animals. Hunters can reduce their risk by ensuring skin is not exposed and by liberally using bug repellant. After each hunt it is sound advice to do a tick check on your body.
If you suspect you may have been exposed to the disease, seek medical attention; tularemia can typically be treated with antibiotics.