By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

In a follow-up on the tularemia outbreak in Sweden, health officials (Folkhalsomyndigheten) report an additional 90 cases during the past week, bringing the total to 875 since the end of July.

Wild Rabbit

Officials report a slowdown in cases; however, compared to a typical year, the numbers are quite high. The main reason for the decrease is that fewer people now appear to be infected in Gävleborg and, above all, Dalarna.

Harpest or tularemia is a bacteria-caused vector-borne zoonosis, that is, a disease that can be transmitted between animals and humans. It mainly affects different rodents, but the infection can be transmitted to man in several different ways.

Tularemia is caused by a bacterium, Francisella tularensis.

Human beings can be infected in several ways, for example by:

  • bitten by an infected insect
  • direct contact with an infected animal
  • inhalation of dust, contaminated with sick animals’ urine or feces
  • intake of contaminated water.

The bacterium can also cause laboratory infection, but the disease does not transmit from person to person.