Tularemia is a disease caused by the bacteria Francisella tularensis. Many different mammals and several species of birds have been found to be carriers, though outbreaks in the U.S. are very rare now. In the US, rats, mice, voles, beavers and rabbits have been identified as disease reservoirs with their fleas and ticks being the vectors that can carry the disease to humans.
Tularemia has also been called “rabbit fever,” and typically manifests itself with the following way: high fever, chills, fatigue, skin ulcers, and other pneumonia-like symptoms. All states in the U.S. except Hawaii have documented cases of the disease at some point in history, but it is extremely rare in the southeast.