Two oil field workers were attacked by a rabid arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) in the Prudhoe Bay oil field (Alaska, USA) prompting officials to reduce the local fox population. Ninety-nine foxes were killed during winter 1994. We tested foxes for prevalence of rabies and canine distemper. Exposure to rabies was detected in five of 99 foxes. Of the five, only one fox had rabies virus in neural tissue as determined by the direct fluorescent antibody test. The other four foxes had been exposed to rabies, but had apparently produced antibodies and did not have an active infection. No evidence of canine distemper was detected as determined by the absence of distemper antibodies in serum and distemper virus in neural tissue.
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Vol. 37 • No. 1