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Norway records first rabies case in 200 years

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Norway records first rabies case in 200 years
A Big eared townsend bat (Corynorhinus townsendii) Photo: Wikimedia Commons
22:34 CEST+02:00
Norwegian authorities have confirmed that a dead bat found in a cabin in central Norway was infected with Rabies — the first recorded case on the mainland for almost two hundred years.
“We have received confirmation from the Veterinary Institute that it did have a form of rabies found in bats,” Karen Johanne Baalsrud, animal health chief at Norway's Food Standards Authority told state broadcaster NRK.
 
She warned the public not to look after or nurse any bats they find who appeared to be unwell. 
 
“We do not want to create fear, but to provide public education,” she said. “We ask people to remember that this is a protected animal which should be left alone.” 
 
Anyone who is bitten by a bat should immediately wash the wound with soap and water to minimise the risk of infection. 
 
According to NRK, the bat was probably suffering from European Bat lyssavirus 2, which according to the World Health Organisation has never in Europe been recorded in any other mammal.
 
“Several countries in Europe have had this animal disease without it creating any problems,” Baalrud said. “It is likely that the disease has existed for some time in Norway without being discovered.” 
 
Baalsrud said that there was no reason for people who have bats living in their houses or elsewhere one or near their properties to be alarmed or take any special precautions. 
 
In 2011 and 2012, there were several outbreaks of rabies on the Arctic island of Svalbard. A woman in the archipelago's capital of Longyearbyen required treatment after being bitten by a rabid fox.
 
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