Teller, Alaska, United States

Updated:

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The Norton Sound Health Corporation (NSHC) Office of Environmental Health is urging residents in the area to ensure their pets receive rabies vaccinations following a positive rabies test in a moose in Teller. Several community members in Teller reported an aggressive moose on June 2, displaying behaviors … See More
consistent with rabies. The Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G) promptly responded to the situation and subsequent tests confirmed the presence of rabies in the moose.

This incident marks the first recorded case of rabies in moose in Alaska. The detected virus strain matches the variant recently found in red foxes, leading experts at ADF&G to speculate that the moose was likely infected by a fox. ADF&G has announced plans to intensify rabies surveillance efforts. They will be conducting tests on brain samples from deceased or euthanized wild mammals in regions with endemic fox rabies, including Western Alaska, whenever feasible. This decision aims to enhance early detection and control measures for the disease, as stated in a recent ADF&G press release.

ADF&G encourages individuals who encounter a dead mammal or witness a mammal displaying signs of rabies to immediately report their sighting to the department. Symptoms of rabies include sudden behavioral changes, such as staggering, aggression, fatigue, excessive drooling, uncoordinated movements, self-biting, chasing vehicles, or disorientation. While capturing photographic or video evidence of the animal can assist in evaluation, it is crucial to prioritize personal safety by maintaining a safe distance to avoid potential exposure.

According to the state wildlife veterinarian at ADF&G, moose displaying normal behavior are considered safe for consumption. However, it is advisable to take precautions when harvesting any mammal. This includes the use of rubber or latex gloves, thorough handwashing after handling the animal, and disinfection of any equipment used during the process. Hunters and trappers should refrain from eating, drinking, or smoking until they have properly sanitized their hands. Furthermore, the meat should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F before consumption to ensure safety.

Alicia Reitz, OEH Specialist, emphasizes that vaccinating dogs and cats is the most effective means of protecting individuals from the rabies virus. Additionally, she highlights the importance of restraining dogs to minimize potential interactions with foxes and other wildlife. It is equally vital to limit foxes' access to garbage or other attractants. These preventive measures play a crucial role in reducing the risk of exposure.

It is recommended that all dogs and cats receive rabies vaccinations at three months of age, with a booster shot one year later, and subsequent revaccinations every three years. Vaccines are available free of charge through the Lay Vaccinator program administered by OEH.

In the event of fox-human interactions resulting in wounds, immediate washing with soap and water is crucial, followed by prompt medical attention. If any deceased mammals are discovered or put down, it is essential to reach out to Fish and Game or OEH to facilitate proper testing.

By staying vigilant, maintaining pet vaccinations, and following recommended precautions, residents can help mitigate the risks associated with rabies and ensure the well-being of both their pets and the community.

Source: www.nortonsoundhealth.org/press-release-teller-moose-tests-positive-for-rabies/
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#teller #alaska #us

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user-rzfcf411

Hi, you can sign up for email alerts on recalled or food issues at the FDA website. FDA gov

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