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‘Rabbit Fever’ Patient Released From Hospital

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DENVER (CBS4)- An infant from Longmont is recovering at home after being released from the hospital where he was treated for what’s known at “rabbit fever.”

Chayse Kluger, just 10 weeks old, is the first human case of Tularemia in Boulder County. There have been at least two other cases in Broomfield and Larimer Counties.

“We get to go home. It’s been a long couple of weeks,” said Chayse’s mother.

Tularemia is a serious infectious disease caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis found in soil and contaminated water. Carriers of the disease in North America include rabbits, hares and pikas.

Chayse was released from Children’s Hospital 14 days after contracting a disease that could have killed him. He’s believed to have been exposed to rabbit fever at a family picnic after he was bitten by a tick. He was taken to Children’s Hospital with a high fever and put on antibiotics.

“It got higher and higher so I took him in to the ER and once I got there they basically told me, ‘You’re baby’s really sick and he’s not leaving. He has to stay,'” said Chayse’s mother.

“This case was very lucky, they weren’t very ill, they caught it very early,” said Bolder County Public Health spokeswoman Kylie Chilton.

One case of rabbit fever was confirmed in a dead vole in a popular field in Boulder County. There are usually only four cases a year in Colorado but that has quadrupled this year because heavy rain has fueled vegetation and given rabbits more places to live.

“As long as we continue to see warm temperatures and also these rodents are around then we may see that disease still,” said Chilton.

Rabbit fever can be found in every state expect Hawaii. While there is no off season for the disease, health officials said because it’s spread so quickly this year, most hospitals are alert to the symptoms and can treat it right away.

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