‘Rabbit Fever’ Confirmed in Wichita Co. as Iowa Park Man Becomes Sick
The Wichita County Heath Department has confirmed that an Iowa Park man has been infected with Tularemia, also knows as "Rabbit Fever".
According to officials, Homer Brown was mowing his lawn in Iowa Park when he accidentally ran over baby rabbits that were in tall grass. Brown's dog brought one of the dead rabbits into the house and became sick in late August, with Brown developing flu-like symptoms the following month. Brown, who owns Brown's Service Center, has been transported to Dallas to receive specialized treatment from Baylor University Medical Center. Brown's wife Michelle told KAUZ that he is battling an infection in his lungs as a result and doctors will be performing a scan to see if the infection has damaged his heart.
While Tularemia is found locally and in other states, it is also rare. It cannot be transmitted from person to person, only animal to person. It can be transferred to people through flea and tick bites, physical contact with infected animals, or drinking contaminated water. Symptoms include general flu-like symptoms such as fever, swollen glands, and general discomfort. "Rabbit Fever" can be deadly if not discovered and treated early enough with antibotics.
Health officials say that there is not cause for alarm, though they encourage people to take precautions such as wearing gloves and a mask while performing yard work. Officials also ask residents to keep an eye on their pets, especially if they come into contact with rabbits and rodents. If your pet isn't eating or drinking and exhibiting other symptoms, take them to the vet and be sure to notify the vet that Tularemia is in the area as it isn't something vets are accustomed to checking for.