Tularemia is a bacterial infection most commonly transmitted to humans that have handled infected animals. Infection can also arise from the bite of infected insects (most commonly ticks and deer flies), by exposure to contaminated food, water, or soil, by eating, drinking, or direct contact with breaks in the skin, and by breathing in dust stirred up during mowing or moving hay, grass, grain, or soil contaminated by an infected animal.

Typical signs of infection in humans are fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, chest pain, and coughing. If tularemia is caused by the bite of an infected insect or from bacteria entering a cut or scratch, it usually causes a skin ulcer and swollen glands. Eating or drinking food or water containing the bacteria may produce a throat infection, stomach pain, diarrhea and vomiting. Symptoms typically appear between 3 to 5 days of exposure, but can range from 2 - 13 days.

Tularemia can be effectively treated with antibiotics, so if you should have any of these early signs, seek medical attention as soon as possible.