- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 18, 2015

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - Public health officials say two human cases of tularemia have been confirmed in northern Arizona’s Coconino County.

Officials say the two individuals, who were likely exposed from insect bites, received treatment and are recovering.

Tularemia is caused by a bacteria found in animals - particularly rodents, rabbits and hares.

Tularemia can be contracted through the skinning and cleaning of game animals, usually rabbits. It can also be transmitted to humans through deer fly and tick bites and by eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Officials say there have been eight human cases of tularemia from Navajo, Coconino and Maricopa counties.

The current cases are the first confirmed cases of tularemia in Coconino County since 2005 when two family members contracted the illness after exposure to a rabbit carcass.

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