The Daily Mail is reporting that a hunter in North Carolina recently tested positive for a rare (and potentially deadly) illness called tularemia. In other words, the guy’s got rabbit fever!
Officials are warning rabbit hunters to wear insect repellent and protective gloves when handling dead rabbits. They’ve also warned hunters to avoid walking through the woods with a carrot sticking out of their butts (a popular technique for attracting prey). But the CDC is not recommending the most effective way to avoid catching tularemia, which is to stop shooting rabbits.
According to the article, rabbit fever is most common in the Pacific Northwest, the South-Central US, and Martha’s Vineyard. Which might explain Ted Kennedy’s driving mishap in Chappaquiddick – some historians claim that a rabbit’s foot was found hanging from the rear-view mirror of the car Teddy fled from.
As always, it’s important to be able to recognize the signs of rabbit fever (so you can run away from someone who is infected). Symptoms of tularemia include:
* An enlargement of the ears and front teeth.
* Uncontrolled hopping.
* A rapidly increasing sex drive.
* Repeatedly asking a medical professional “What the hell’s up, Doc?
* A sudden interest in hiding candy around the house.
It’s time to buy bug spray and protective gloves. Before it’s too late.