Norway health officials are reporting a positive rabies case in a reindeer from Ny-Ålesund in Svalbard.


The Governor of Svalbard received a report of a sick reindeer on July 16th. The reindeer was weak in the legs and could not get up. The adult and one calf were killed and sent to the Veterinary Institute in Oslo for examination. Analyzes of brain tests at the Veterinary Institute have confirmed that the reindeer had rabies. There was no rabies in the calf.

People who have been bitten or wounded by animals suspected of being infected with rabies should contact their doctor for advice and vaccination as soon as possible. People who have been licked or bitten by a dog who has been in contact with suspect animals during the last two days should also consult a physician to assess the need for a vaccine.

There has never been any rabies in humans in Svalbard. Visitors and settlers who can come in direct contact with wild mammals in Svalbard should take a vaccine. People should avoid contact with wild animals in general, and especially keep away from dead animals and animals that behave abnormally.

Anyone who has been in contact with animals that may be infected with rabies should contact a doctor as soon as possible, regardless of whether they are vaccinated earlier or not.

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