By Mark Salley
Special to The SUN
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, there have been 11 human cases of tularemia in Colorado since May of this year.
Sixteen human tularemia cases were reported in 2014, the second highest number of cases in Colorado since 1983 when there were 20 cases. The previous average was fewer than four cases a year.
People can get tularemia if they handle infected animals, such as rabbits, rodents or hares, or are bitten by ticks or deer flies. They also can be exposed by touching contaminated soil, drinking contaminated water or inhaling bacteria.
Anyone who becomes ill after exposure to a sick or dead animal, or after spending time in areas where sick or dead wild animals have been seen, should talk to a health care provider about the possibility of tularemia. Tularemia is treatable with antibiotics.