February 21, 2013
RALEIGH, N.C. (CBS Charlotte) – Officials with both the North Carolina Division of Public Health and the Wildlife Commission are urging hunters to be wary about rabbit fever after two hunters contracted it this month.
Their warning, reported by the Wilson Times, comes just before the end of rabbit hunting season on Feb. 28.
The disease, tularemia, is a rare and possibly fatal affliction that has already affected two members of a hunting party in the state recently – and has led to a confirmed 17 cases overall since 1999.
“It can make you very, very sick,” Marilyn Haskel, a veterinarian and epidemiologist with the DPH, told the paper. “We want hunters to know you can get very sick and the rabbit can appear very normal.”
Symptoms reportedly include ulcers, swollen lymph glands, or even pneumonia, in addition to other ailments.