Rabbit Fever Warning for San Diego County Pets and Hikers

County officials warn ticks near Lopez Canyon Trail may be infected.

Officials issued a warning to hikers on the Lopez Canyon Trail in Sorrento Valley that some of the ticks they've collected there have tested positive for tularemia, also known as rabbit fever.

San Diego County Vector Control say the bacterial disease can be passed to hikers and pets through infected tick bites. Those infected with tularemia can become extremely sick and sometimes die, according to officials.

The infected ticks mark the sixth report of tularemia in the county this year, all near the Lopez Canyon Trail area.

So far no one has been infected. In fact, the last human case in San Diego County was in 2005.

County officials remind hikers to wear insect repellent, proper clothing, and to use insect control products on pets that kill fleas and ticks.

Hiker and veterinarian Stephanie Oba said pet owners can use flea and tick collars if their pets are not already on flea and tick medicine. 

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