Three Foxes In Y-K Region Test Positive For Rabies

Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC) reported Tuesday that the communities
of Nightmute, Alakanuk and Bethel have each had one fox test positive for rabies in recent weeks.

The YKHC Office of Environmental Health was able to locate the foxes, which were showing possible signs of rabies.
The animals were euthanized and sent for testing, which came back positive.

“We encourage you to have your pets vaccinated as soon as possible so they are protected from exposure to wildlife,
especially since we have confirmed cases of rabies in YK communities,” said Alyssa Leary, interim environmental
health services manager for YKHC. “If any people are bit or scratched by a pet or wildlife, please get seen by the clinic
or hospital as soon as possible and report the exposure.”

Rabies is always present at low levels in the YK region’s fox population. If untreated, the rabies virus is fatal to humans
and unvaccinated pets.

Exposures are usually from a bite or scratch from an infected animal, and can take between 2-8 weeks to show
symptoms, which include excessive drooling, walking funny, acting strange, unprovoked aggression, not eating/
drinking, biting objects/non-food items, change in voice/bark.

Please report any animals showing above symptoms to the YKHC Office of Environmental Health (OEHE) at 907-543-
6420 or Bethel Police Dept. (non-emergency line) 907-543-3781. YKHC says regardless of vaccination status, if your
pet is bit or scratched by wildlife, please contact OEHE right away.

In Bethel, Knik Animal Clinic or Bethel Friends of Canines can administer vaccinations (see contact numbers below).
YKHC partners with the UAF/CSU Health Outpost Program. Dr. Laurie Meythaler-Mullins, Public Health Veterinarian,
can provide vaccination clinics if villages request (see contact information below).

Numbers to call to report:
YKHC Office of Environmental Health: (907) 543-6420 Toll free: 1-800-478-6599
Alaska Section of Epidemiology: 907-269-8000
Bethel Police Department (non-emergency line): 907-543-3781
Alaska Department of Fish & Game: 907-543-2979

To get your pets vaccinated:
Bethel Friends of Canines (BFK9): bethelfriendsofcanines2011@gmail.com and Facebook messenger
Knik Animal Clinic: 907-543-2823
Dr. Laurie Meythaler-Mullins, Public Health Veterinarian: 907-545-4941 https://www.facebook.com/dr.laurieykvet or
email ykvet1@gmail.com

Additional information about rabies in Alaska
Alaska Rabies Prevention and Control Manual:
https://www.ykhc.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/RabiesControlManual2019.pdf

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