Rabies quarantines declared for Barrow, Wainwright and Atqasuk

Posted: Monday, March 06, 2000

BARROW (AP) -- A rash of run-ins with rabid Arctic foxes has prompted quarantines here and in the North Slope villages of Wainwright and Atqasuk.

A fox was destroyed Feb. 19 in Barrow after it was seen stealing dog food from local homes. Tests showed the fox was rabid.

Another rabid fox was destroyed that day in Atqasuk. Rabid foxes were destroyed Feb. 14 and Feb. 26 at Wainwright.

''One of the symptoms of rabies is that the animal starts acting strangely and loses its fear of man and dogs,'' Kevin Wellington, North Slope Borough veterinarian, told the Arctic Sounder. ''You don't really see them foaming at the mouth or acting mad like they show on television.''

Barrow and Atqasuk are under quarantine until March 20. Wainwright is quarantined until March 15.

Dog owners should check to see that their animals' rabies shots are current and keep their dogs tied or inside, authorities said. There is no holding period before destroying strays during a quarantine.

Animals cannot be transported on airplanes without a veterinarian form verifying the animal's health.

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