A dead cat has tested positive for tularemia, a deadly bacteria that could infect humans, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Tularemia is also known as “rabbit fever”, a tick-borne disease. The cat was just one out of five cats that have been found dead in a mobile home park near Sioux Falls in the past six weeks. A Sioux Falls Police Lieutenant says that there could be more unreported cases of the disease.
Our concern is with the number of incidents we’ve had with dead cats that potentially some of the residents up in that area may have contact with the cats. And this disease can be spread through the contact with the dead animal.
A city public health director says that the disease is not a major threat to public health, and on average there are about 200 cases of this disease nationwide.
One vet says that tularemia is not common in the pet population, but the disease can be devastating to cats. Symptoms include sores on the skin, fever, signs of pneumonia, or it can even look like rabies. She said that the best protection for pets is flea and tick medications.