Tularemia was included as one of the category IV Notifiable Diseases in Taiwan in 2007. Currently, there are only imported cases in Taiwan. Tularemia is a bacterial zoonotic disease caused by “ Francisella tularensis”. The bacterium is highly virulent for humans and a range of animals such as rodents, hares and rabbits. It can infect ticks which help spread the bacteria. F. tularensis is transmitted to human by direct contact with infected animals, infectious animal’s tissues or fluids, and ingestion of contaminated water or food. F. tularensis is easily transmitted by aerosols and inhalation of only a few organisms is likely to cause infection. So it can become a biological weapon. There is no human to human transmission.
Although tularemia is not endemic to Taiwan, the ticks are found throughout Taiwan. There are 29 species belonged to 7 genus of ticks in Taiwan, but doesn’t have any evidence to carried with pathogen, Francisella tularensis. For the period 2007 to 2016, there are only an imported case in Taiwan from USA. There were no confirmed cases in 2017-2018.
Tularemia Surveillance in Taiwan
Prevention and Control
To prevent tularemia, avoid contact with vectors such as ticks and wild animals.
1.What is tularemia?
Tularemia is a disease caused by the bacterium F. tularensis. Tularemia is typically found in animals,
especially rodents,rabbits, and hares.
2. How do people become infected with tularemia?
Typically, people become infected through the bite of infected insects such as ticks, by handling
infected sick or dead animals, by consuming contaminated food or water, or by inhaling the bacteria.