Add to the list of health-care woes in Norfolk an outbreak of rabbit fever in Long Point.
The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit issued an alert about the contagious outbreak on May 11. The latest aggressive pathogen has been detected in the muskrat population of southwest Norfolk.
Rabbit fever is caused by tularemia bacteria. The bacteria is carried by deer flies and ticks and can sicken humans and animals such as muskrats, rabbits and beavers. In people, the bacteria typically attacks the skin, eyes, lymph nodes, and lungs, the health unit said in a news release.
Symptoms include the sudden onset of a high fever, chills, fatigue, headache, muscle pain and nausea.
“There were four human cases reported across Ontario between 2007 and 2017,” the health unit says. “With treatment, death is rare.”
Infection is possible after handling a contaminated animal, ingesting contaminated food or water, being bitten or licked by an infected insect or animal, or inhaling contaminated water droplets from contaminated soil.