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svalbardiRabies has been found in a polar fox and two reindeer in Svalbard. The archipelago has never before seen the disease which can be deadly for humans if infected.

The disease can be infected by bite or other means and therefore the Governor of Svalbard has urged the public to avoid contact with dead animals or any animals that are behaving abnormally.

At present, seven people have been administrated post-exposure prophylaxis. No human cases of rabies have ever been diagnosed in the area. The hospital in Longyearbyen offers rabies vaccination to the population

Svalbard has a population of 2.700 people of which 2.200 are in Longyearbyen and some 500 in the Russian settlement of Barentsburg.