Oh deer! Rabies spoils end-of-hunt celebration

ALMOST 300 people, mostly hunters, received post-exposure prophylaxis following a rabies outbreak in arctic foxes and reindeer on a Norwegian island group.

Two foxes and eight deer tested positive for rabies on the archipelago of Svalbard (population 2539) during September, a period coinciding with the celebrated end to a reindeer hunt in which school children also participated.

“Many people had already consumed cooked reindeer meat… and many still have meat in their freezers,” a report said.

Rabies is endemic in the region.

Euro Surveill 2011; online 6 Oct