If you see any unusual signs of disease or deaths in wildlife you can report it to:
Tularaemia is an infection caused by the bacteria Francisella tularensis. It is commonly found in a range of wildlife species across the northern hemisphere but, until recently, was believed to be absent from Australian wildlife.
Different subspecies of tularaemia vary in their virulence. A single case of Francisella tularensis novicida was reported in a human in the Northern Territory in 2003. In 2011, two separate cases of F. t. holarctica biovar japonica were diagnosed in two women who had a history which included being scratched and/ or bitten by common ringtail possums in western Tasmania. Testing of a small number of possums from western Tasmania and other areas did not reveal evidence of tularaemia.
In September 2016, tularaemia was detected for the first time in Australian animals, following Next Generation molecular analysis of archived samples, collected from two separate clusters of common ringtail possum deaths that had occurred in NSW in 2002 and 2003. Findings of F. t. holarctica were confirmed by PCR and were found to be genomically very similar to that found in the 2011 Australian human cases.
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Mass mortality and morbidity events involving kangaroos occur across a number of states and territories, in some cases with a seasonal occurrence. Investigation may reveal a primary cause, although these events are often multifactoral in nature. Examples include: