Causes of Tularemia
Francisella tularensis causes tularemia. There are two strains of the bacteria. One causes infection more easily than the other. The bacteria are normally found in small animals, such as mice and rabbits. The germs can survive for weeks in a cool, moist environment. Naturally, people can catch the disease if bitten by an infected animal, tick, or deer fly. It can occur through contact with an infected animal's tissues or contaminated water, food, or soil. The bacteria also can enter the body through the lungs, the eyes, mucous membranes, or skin. People cannot pass the infection to other people.
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