Tularemia is a serious bacterial infection which causes a rash, fever, and later septicemia (bacteria invasion of the blood), and infection of the joints and heart valves. It can also cause meningitis pneumonia, and osteomyelitis (bone infection).
The purpose of avoiding contact with rabbits in the summertime is because this is when ticks, mosquitos and fleas, which are vectors for the infection, are most active. Treatment for tularemia involves intensive antibiotic therapy.
YEAH that stuff is definitely no fun I had it a few years back and it was BAD. The docs caught it early on and I was able to avoid the hospital but I spent 3 days on the can before we found out what it was. Mine messed up my digestive system for a while I couldn't keep anything down. Antibiotics knocked it out within a week or so.
I just got back from my elk trip to Colorado and must say that I learned quite a bit about hiking in that one trip. I researched all I could on the internet and thought I was prepared going out. For the most part I was but I want to pass on a few major things I learned that helped me drastically!
1. Pack light. I know this may sound like common sense but believe me. After reading everyone's advice on what you need to pack, chances are your pack will end up weighing more...