Rabbit fever claims life in Boulder County

A Boulder County resident has died from tularemia, or rabbit fever. County health officials say the LaFayette resident tested positive after mowing the lawn and gardening around May 11. He developed a high fever, headache and general malaise, and and did not survive in part because of other medical complications. The age or gender of the resident has not been released.

It’s the third human case of tularemia in Colorado this year. Last year, the state recorded 16 cases.

People can become infected through insect bites, or even when an infected carcass is mowed over. Health officials recommend a dust mask for yard work, and ask people to stay out of areas inhabited by wild animals and rodents.

Tularemia can usually be treated effectively with antibiotics if caught early.