CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Health officials in Champaign County say that one person has died in the county of the rare infectious disease tularemia.
The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District declined to identify the victim.
Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde told The News-Gazette in Champaign that tularemia can be spread by contact with infected rabbits and cats or through tick and deer fly bites. It can’t be spread from human to human.
The disease is also known as rabbit fever and can lead to difficulty breathing and other problems. Up to 15 percent of cases are fatal.
The Illinois Department of Health reported four cases of tularemia in 2012 and five in 2011.