San Diego

Ticks Test Positive for ‘Rabbit Fever' in Sorrento Valley

At the moment, only the ticks found in Sorrento Valley tested positive for tularemia.

A potentially dangerous bacterial disease known as "rabbit fever" could be spread by ticks, as the insect's population increases throughout San Diego County.

Several ticks tested positive for the disease, officially called tularemia, in a routine trapping from the Lopez Canyon trail in Sorrento Valley, warned county officials Tuesday.

Hikers and nature explorers should protect themselves and their pets from ticks, officials said. The County's Vector Control program urged the public to take precautions when hiking or walking in grassy, backcountry areas.

The best way to protect yourself is to wear insect repellant, proper clothing and use insect control products that kill fleas and ticks on pets, according to the county.

Vector Control officials said they have discovered increasing numbers of ticks this year. Currently, only the ticks found in Sorrento Valley tested positive for tularemia.

Tularemia is possible to treat with antibiotics but can be dangerous and even fatal, said county officials. If a tick bites you, use a tweezer and grab it by the head to carefully and firmly remove.

The County's Vector Control Program keeps track of how many ticks, fleas, rodents and mosquitos are around the region that may transmit diseases to people.

For more information about the hazards posed by ticks, visit the county's website.

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