Read how scientists are making advances on a vaccine against this potential biological weapon.
Tularemia (also known as deerfly fever or rabbit fever) is an infectious disease. Tularemia was first described by scientists in 1911. Its ability to infect whole populations was seen during outbreaks of waterborne disease in Europe and the Soviet Union in the 1930s and 1940s.
Health experts believe that tularemia is underrecognized and underreported. There are about 200 reported cases in the United States each year. Of these cases, less than 2 percent are fatal. Most cases occur in rural areas in the south-central and western states from June through September (tick season) and generally infect hunters. From 1995 to 1997, approximately half of all U.S. tularemia cases were reported from Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Arkansas.
Worldwide, the disease occurs in Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, China, and Japan, and almost always in rural areas.
Last Updated July 29, 2014
Last Reviewed August 20, 2008