Svalbard animals get annual rabies vaccination / News / The Foreigner

Svalbard animals get annual rabies vaccination. Norwegian vet Harald Os vaccinates over 600 dogs in Svalbard to protect residents against the disease. His annual trip to the region above the Arctic Circle involves vaccinating dogs, and checking on other animals such as pigs and horses. Flying in to all the remote areas, Mr Os’ latest journey also includes Ny-Ålesund and Barentsburg, according to NRK.

svalbard, rabies, norway



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Svalbard animals get annual rabies vaccination

Published on Monday, 23rd June, 2014 at 15:12 under the news category, by Lyndsey Smith and Michael Sandelson      .

Norwegian vet Harald Os vaccinates over 600 dogs in Svalbard to protect residents against the disease.

Svalbard Arctic Fox puppies
These animals look cuddly but are potentially fatal.Svalbard Arctic Fox puppies
Photo: Ilan Kelman


His annual trip to the region above the Arctic Circle involves vaccinating dogs, and checking on other animals such as pigs and horses.

Flying in to all the remote areas, Mr Os’ latest journey also includes Ny-Ålesund and Barentsburg, according to NRK.

The last reported case of rabies in Norway was only three years ago when a woman was bitten by an Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus in Latin) in the town of Longyearbyen.

The victim received the vaccine and recovered from the attack. There were record numbers of Arctic foxes born that year.

Arctic foxes can enter the region from Russia by crossing the ice. They are hardy creatures that follow in the footsteps of polar bears in search of food.

Smaller than the red fox, they typically weigh between 3 and 4kgs (some 6.6-8.8lbs), roughly the size of a fully-grown cat

The animals typically live to be 3 to 4 years old, though some have lived to as old as 15.

Local residents are not worried about rabies despite the case of the woman in 2011, however.

“We don’t go around thinking about it. They do what we can to ensure that we’re safe here,” Birgit Hanseth Bendiksen from Kullungen pre-school told NRK.

Facts about rabies:         

  • A preventable viral disease of mammals.
  • Disease found in over 150 world countries and territories.
  • Most often transmitted through a rabid animal’s bite.
  • Each year, over 15 million people worldwide receive a post-exposure vaccination to prevent the disease.
  • Incubation period normally between one and three months.
  • Infects central nervous system.
  • Early symptoms like many other illnesses’ such as fever, headache, and general weakness.
  • Later symptoms include anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, hallucinations, increase in salivation, hydrophobia, difficulty swallowing.
  • Death normally within days following these symptoms.
  • Over 50,000 people die each year, mostly in Africa and Asia

(Sources: WHO (World Health Organization, CDC (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), Svalbard Museum)




Published on Monday, 23rd June, 2014 at 15:12 under the news category, by Lyndsey Smith and Michael Sandelson      .

This post has the following tags: svalbard, rabies, norway.





  
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