Tularaemia is a rare disease caused by Francisella tularensis bacteria. Infections usually occur through handling of infected animals, bites of an infected ticks, consumption of contaminated food, or contact with contaminated water.
Most infections are reported from the northern hemisphere.To date there have been four locally acquired cases of tularaemia reported in Australia. Three infections have been linked to bites/scratches from infected possums: two confirmed cases in Tasmania (one linked to a ringtail and the other to an unidentified species of possum) and a probable case in NSW (linked to a ringtail possum). The fourth infection is believed to have been acquired in a laboratory setting, and the implicated species of Australian animal has not been identified.
For the complete Tularaemia factsheet on the disease including symptoms and protection please see the following link to the NSW Health Website https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Factsheets/tularaemia.pdf