Los Alamos County Emergency Management officials commented Tuesday to clarify information on social media sites sharing New Mexico Department of Health information that tularemia cases had been reported in various Northern New Mexico communities, including Los Alamos.
Last year, Los Alamos had seven cases of tularemia in pets in Los Alamos.
“Tularemia was detected in Los Alamos last year, which means it is endemic to the area,” said LAPD Emergency Management Commander Beverley Simpson, “Once tularemia enters a community, it’s here for good. Yesterday’s statement from the Department of Health was intended to remind residents to take precautions and know the symptoms.”
To date in 2016, four cases of tularemia have been diagnosed in Los Alamos in pets. Tularemia can impact domestic pets with outside access, such as cats and dogs. No cases of tularemia – more commonly called Rabbit Fever because it often is seen in rabbits, which are abundant in Los Alamos this spring – have been reported in deceased rabbits so far in the County in 2016. No information has been furnished from DOH to Los Alamos about any human cases of tularemia that have been diagnosed in 2016; the County has requested an update from DOH and will keep the community informed.
Animal Control staff have knowledge of the symptoms and signs of tularemia and they have an educational flyer that they hand out to citizens who may have questions. Simpson encouraged residents to review the information and be aware of their surroundings. The County has requested that DOH furnish additional information that may be useful to residents, especially about symptoms in pets that may have tularemia.
More information on tularemia can be found on the Center for Disease Control site here.
To download the County’s Animal Control flyer, link here.