560 sick with tularemia: Significant rise in Sweden

Outbreak News Today reports that in a follow-up on a report about two weeks ago, Swedish health officials are reporting a significant rise in tularemia cases since the end of July.

As of Monday, about 560 human cases have been reported, much more this time of year than usual and even more than 2015 when 859 people across the country suffered  from the illness.

Most cases of illness are reported from central Sweden (the Dalarna region, Gävleborg and Örebro), but an increasing number of reports are also starting to come in from other regions, especially in northern Sweden.

Since the number of illness cases is usually highest in September in Sweden, the outbreak is expected to grow further in the coming weeks.

Infections in Sweden are mainly seen in forest and field hares and rodents, but the disease has been reported in several other species, including other mammals, birds, amphibians, insects, ticks and unicellular animals.

Tularemia, or harpest as it’s known as in Sweden, is one of the most common native zoonoses in people in Sweden. People are infected mainly through mosquitoes, but also through direct contact with sick or dead animals and by inhalation of, for example, infectious dust.

Raw is risky: Grapes pressed with infected mice caused tularemia outbreak at German winery

The consumption of grape must from fruit that had been accidentally pressed with infected mice appeared to be the cause of a small 2016 outbreak of oropharyngeal tularemia at a winery in Germany, investigators reported in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Animals — primarily hares, rabbits and rodents — often die in large numbers during outbreaks of tularemia, according to the CDC. Humans can become infected several ways, including through tick and deer fly bites, skin contact with infected animals or drinking contaminated water.

Six grape harvesters at a Rhineland-Palatinate winery were likely infected when they drank contaminated grape must, a juice containing seeds, stems and the skin of grapes, investigators said.

According to the report, the harvesters — two women and four men — suffered from symptoms of tularemia, including swollen cervical lymph nodes, fever, chills, difficulty swallowing and diarrhea. They tested positive for Francisellatularensis, the bacterium that causes tularemia.

The investigators discovered that wine made at another winery from grapes harvested by the same mechanical harvester used at the winery involved in the outbreak also tested positive, “a finding that suggests that the harvester was the source of cross-contamination,” the investigators wrote. They said vintners confirmed that mice were occasionally collected by the harvesters, along with grapes.

“This outbreak suggests that mechanical harvesting can be a risk factor for the transmission of zoonoses such as tularemia and that raw food stuffs should be treated before consumption,” they wrote. “All contaminated products were confiscated and their sale prohibited by public health and other local authorities.”

Hare fever in Norway

(Something may be lost in translation.)

The veterinary institute has recently diagnosed hare fever (tularemia) with many hares and one dog – all from southern Norway. This indicates that the disease is relatively widespread in this area and people should be aware of it.

Harane with hare fever has been submitted from Agder, northern part of Buskerud and Inner Sogn during the last weeks. Tularemia (harepest) obsessed infection with the bacterium Francisella tularensis.

The bacterium can infect humans and many different animal species. The hare is particularly sensitive to infection and dying usually by blood poisoning few days after he has been infected. Dogs can be infected by catching or by eating smokers. Commonly, they develop transient disease.

Harepest (tularemia) is a disease that can be transmitted from animals to humans. Often it happens via drinking water, for example if dead mice or lem infect wells, streams and other water sources.

The danger of being infected with tularemia or other waterborne disease will always be present. After a lean year, the following year there may be dead animals still infectious. We therefore recommend that you follow the advice and measures for drinking water listed below for safety. It will prevent hare fever and other diseases from drinking water, especially the drinking water that is extracted from wells and other sources in nature.

Unforgiving Bunny: 6 sick with rabbit plague in Germany

We’re going to a birthday party Saturday a.m. at the park across the street from us.

I got to know the mom by hanging out at Sorenne’s school – in a drop-off-and-pick-up way, not a creepy way – and at some point heard she was into roller derby, with her two daughters.

unforgiving-bunnyWith my 5 daughters in (ice) hockey, I sparked up a conversation.

Seems that Unforgiving Bunny – that’s her roller derby handle – is a lawyer by day, and avid roller woman by night.

I thought of Unforgiving Bunny when I read the health authority of the district Mainz-Bingen is currently investigating several diseases of humans with the exciter of the hare plague (tulareämie).

And that’s our other roller derby friend, Abby of Manhattan, Kansas, (left) who got into the game once she moved to France (she was a student of Amy’s and great with little, bald Sorenne. Girl power.)

Hare plague can be transmitted from the animal to humans. A human-to-human transplant is nearly impossible and not known. Tularemia is highly treatable, but can take more severe curves in the individual case.

A common feature of the six affected that they had participated in early October on a vintage in the northern district. A few days later they got high fever and complained of a severe general feeling of illness. Three people had to be treated in the hospital. All have now been released as well again.

The case is unusual because infection with the pathogen in Germany are very rare and heaped even more rarely occur. Man is infected by direct contact with diseased animals, their organs or excretions. The pathogen can also be transferred through contaminated food.

abby-roller-derbyThe Health Authority is assisted in the search for causes of Landesuntersuchungsamt (LUA). It is investigated how the villagers could have come into contact with the pathogen. In parallel, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) examines samples from the vineyard. The focus is on food, rabbits, rabbits and other environmental samples. The bacterium Francisella tularensis triggers a tularemia disease. It usually begins with an ulcer at the entrance of the pathogen, followed by flu-like symptoms such as fever, lymph node swelling, chills, malaise as well as headache and limb pain. The disease can be treated with antibiotics.

Doctors in Mainz-Bingen district are asked also to consider tularemia in patients with high fever and swollen lymph nodes into consideration, especially if the cause of these symptoms is unclear. Suspected cases are also subject to reporting under the Infection Protection Act at the Health Authority.

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