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Ticks found along Sorrento Valley trail test positive for ‘rabbit fever’

SAN DIEGO — County health officials said Friday that additional ticks found along a trail in Sorrento Valley tested positive for tularemia, a potentially dangerous bacterial disease that’s also known as “rabbit fever.”

The county previously announced on Feb. 13 that several ticks caught during routine trapping had tested positive for the disease.

Symptoms of the illness vary depending on the mode of transmission. Tularemia infections caused by tick bites can cause skin ulcers.

The disease can be life-threatening, but most infections can be treated with antibiotics, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The ticks found in Sorrento Valley were all caught along Lopez Canyon Trail, which lies south of Sorrento Valley Boulevard between commercial office parks and scattered groups of tract homes.

Warning signs were posted in the area last week, and additional signs were put up in the wake of the new findings.

County public health officials said anyone who is bitten by a tick should not panic, but carefully remove the bug, and seek medical attention if a rash or fever develops within several weeks of the bite.

Tick diseases are rare in San Diego, county officials said, but they have been known to carry other diseases, such as Lyme disease and spotted fever.