Trel (trellia_chan) wrote in 1word1day,

Wednesday word: tularemia

In addition to the nationwide ebola scare, this lesser-known illness has been making the rounds in my local news as well.

Tularemia: [too-luh-ree-mee-uh]

A rare infectious disease that can attack the skin, eyes, lymph nodes, lungs and, less often, other internal organs. Often called rabbit fever or deer fly fever, tularemia is caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. It spreads to humans through several routes, including insect bites and direct exposure to an infected animal, commonly through rabbits (which are more numerous than squirrels in my neck of the woods). Highly contagious and potentially fatal, tularemia usually can be treated effectively with specific antibiotics if diagnosed early.

Symptoms include skin lesions (particuarly in humans), swollen lymph nodes, fever, chills, headache, and exhaustion. Depending on the specific bacterium, symptoms can affect the eyes, lungs, and digestive tract as well.

Origin of the word:  Modern Latin, 1920s, named after Tulare County, California where the disease was first identified, though retroactively, it has been identified in outbreaks in ancient Canaan as far back as 1715 BC.

Sounds a little too much like bubonic plague if you ask me... though thankfully, less fatal, even without treatment.  O_O

(Sorry I'm late!!)
Tags: american, latin, noun, t, wordsmith: trellia_chan

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