Background Tularaemia is a rare disease. In Europe it mostly occurs in Scandinavia. Since 2011 more cases are being reported in the Netherlands. Tularaemia may manifest itself in various ways. It is important to take strict precautions during biopsy, drainage and biopsy processing in order to prevent transmission. Case description A 10yearold boy presented to the paediatrician with a left inguinal lymphadenitis. A week before the onset of symptoms he had participated in a children's mud race. Serology and PCR of pus from the lymph node tested positive for Francisella tularensis. Treatment with ciprofloxacin was insufficiently effective, so surgical drainage of the gland was performed under strict isolation conditions. Water from the mud race location contained genetic material from F. tularensis. Conclusion Given the rising incidence of tularaemia in the Netherlands, it is important to consider 'tularaemia' in the differential diagnosis in patients with lymphadenitis and epidemiological clues in their case history. Since 1 November 2016 it has been mandatory to report tularaemia in the Netherlands.