Because it's rare and because it shares symptoms with other diseases, tularemia may be difficult to diagnose. Doctors may check for F. tularensis in a blood or sputum sample that's cultured to encourage the growth of the bacteria. But the preferred way to diagnose tularemia usually is to identify antibodies to the bacteria in a sample of blood. You're also likely to have a chest X-ray to look for signs of pneumonia.
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