By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Spanish media is reporting four people who suffered an outbreak of bacterial infection, suspected of ulceroglandular tularemia after handling crabs trapped in the Jalón River in the municipality of Cetina.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

The four infected presented fever, general and respiratory symptoms in some cases and ulcerative lesions on the hands and axillary lymphadenopathy that began 3-5 days after exposure to the crabs, although none have required hospitalization and are progressing well and with antibiotic treatment.

The first human cases reported in Spain occurred in 1997; however,  transmission prior to that date was demonstrated a posteriori.

In 1998, a small tularemia outbreak involving 19 patients occurred in Cuenca, Spain after crayfish fishing. The patients developed a glandular or ulceroglandular form of the disease through skin injuries while catching or cleaning red swamp crayfishes sinned in the same river.

Tularemia can be transmitted to people, such as hunters, who have handled infected animals. Infection can also arise from the bite of infected insects (most commonly ticks and deer flies); by exposure to contaminated food, water, or soil; by eating, drinking, putting hands to eyes, nose, or mouth before washing after outdoor activities; by direct contact with breaks in the skin; or by inhaling particles carrying the bacteria (through mowing or blowing vegetation and excavating soil).

Typical signs of infection in humans may include fever, chills, headache, swollen and painful lymph glands, and fatigue. If tularemia is caused by the bite of an infected insect or from bacteria entering a cut or scratch, it usually causes a skin ulcer or pustule and swollen glands. Eating or drinking food or water containing the bacteria may produce a throat infection, mouth ulcers, stomach pain, diarrhea and vomiting. Inhaling the bacteria may cause an infection of the lungs with chest pain and coughing.

Tularemia can be effectively treated with antibiotics. Untreated tularemia can lead to hospitalization and may be fatal if not diagnosed and treated appropriately.