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Reindeers with Rabies (Norway)

Eurosurveillance reports that between 16 September and 5 October 2011 rabies was diagnosed in two arctic foxes and eight reindeer in the Svalbard archipelago, in Norway.

Reindeer hunting is a popular activity that annually involves up to 300 people, including children. The rabies outbreak in the Svalbard archipelago has demonstrated that people engaging in activities involving contact with wild animals in rabies-endemic areas should consider being vaccinated.

This outbreak occurs at the end of the reindeer hunting season and poses an increased risk to many people that were involved in the hunt. As of 28 September 2011, 280 people had received post-exposure prophylaxis. No human cases of rabies have occurred.

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