Boulder investigates first resident with tularemia in 2016

Boulder investigates first resident with tularemia in 2016
Posted at 11:49 AM, Aug 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-22 13:49:14-04

BOULDER, Colo. -- A Boulder resident is suspected of being the first to contract tularemia in 2016, prompting warnings from health officials. 

Boulder County Public Health officials investigated last week the first case in Boulder County of tularemia, saying a 65-year-old is suspected of contracting the disease after showing symptoms of a fever, swollen lymph nodes and a skin lesion. 

The man reportedly mowed his lawn and worked with a woodpile before showing symptoms. Officials released a warning to the public, saying residents should be cautious while working outside of dead animals.

Tularemia is transmitted by contact with dead animals, particularly through tick and deer fly bites, or skin contact with infected animals. 

Rabbits and rodents are most commonly carriers of the disease. 

Officials listed some top tips for avoiding contracting the disease: 

  • Use a long-handled shovel to pick up dead animals, double bagging them to dispose of their bodies. 
  • While working outside, use DEET-infused insect repellants. 
  • Wash any cuts or scratches incurred from outdoors work as quickly as possible.
  • Don't let pets drink from groundwater. 
  • Never mow over animal carcasses. 
  • See a doctor immediately if you quickly contract a fever or swollen lymph nodes after outside work. 

Click here for more information on tularemia.