Rabies is a virus that can infect all mammals, and it is most frequently transmitted to humans through a bite from a rabid animal. Foxes, especially in the Northern Slope and Southwest regions, are the most common transmitters of rabies in Alaska. Rabies is a serious disease that can cause death within days of symptoms, so be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you suspect exposure.
REMINDER: Effective January 2014
The Section of Epidemiology will no longer supply rabies post-exposure prophylaxis. Staff continue to be available for consultations at 907-269-8000, or 800-478-0084 after hours. See letter below for details, including where you can order rabies medications/products.
Resources for the General Public
Resources for Healthcare Providers
State of Alaska: Alaska Rabies Control Manual (last updated January 2014)
- Manual with Appendices D, F, G, and H 231 KB
- Appendix A: Section of Epidemiology Rabies Post-Exposure Treatment Sheet 36 KB
- Appendix B: 2007 Epidemiology Bulletin on Lay Vaccinator Program 107 KB
- Appendix C: Alaska State Virology Laboratory (ASVL), Rabies specimen submission information
Specimens will be accepted from physicians and other healthcare providers, veterinarians, environmental health officers, wildlife agents, law officers, or other individuals designated by the Alaska Division of Public Health. Rabies laboratory examinations will be limited to warm-blood animals for which there is a clear or possible history of human exposure, or animals deemed necessary by public health or wildlife authorities. Please contact the Section of Epidemiology for authorization prior to submitting specimens for rabies testing. Call (907) 269-8000, or after hours call (800) 478-0084.
Note: for wildlife samples, state regulations designate that game species killed in "defense of life or property" (DLP) must be reported to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G). This requirement is separate from the form needed to request rabies testing at ASVL.
- State of Alaska: Defense of Life or Property Game Animal Kill Report
- Appendix E: NASPHV Compendium on Rabies Prevention and Control 103 KB
- Section of Epidemiology: Rabies-Related Bulletins
Disease Prevalence in Alaska
- For a snapshot of five year disease activity for select diseases in Alaska, click here.
Cases of Rabies Reported to the Alaska Section of Epidemiology, 2008-2012
Last Updated 11/29/2013; counts reflect total number of confirmed cases at the Alaska State Virology Laboratory.