Second fox tests positive for rabies in Igloolik, Nunavut

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A second fox has tested positive for rabies in Igloolik, Nunavut, prompting health officials to once again warn residents that if they have been bitten by a dog or a fox, they should go their local health centre immediately for treatment. (Google Canada - image credit)
A second fox has tested positive for rabies in Igloolik, Nunavut, prompting health officials to once again warn residents that if they have been bitten by a dog or a fox, they should go their local health centre immediately for treatment. (Google Canada - image credit)

A second fox has tested positive for rabies in Igloolik, Nunavut.

Health officials said the fox was killed after attacking a person in the community. They didn't immediately provide details about the person's condition.

It's the second time within a week that a person has been attacked by a rabid fox in the community.

On Monday, Nunavut health officials warned residents of Igloolik to be on the lookout for foxes after someone in the community was attacked by a fox. This followed an warning on Dec. 14, after the first fox tested positive for rabies in the area.

Officials urge anyone who has been bitten or scratched by a fox or a dog, to go their local health centre immediately.

"Treatment must be started quickly," a release from the government of Nunavut stated.

"If you see an animal behaving strangely, staggering, frothing at the mouth, choking or making strange noises, avoid the animal and report it to a conservation officer."

Rabies common in foxes and wolves in Nunavut, say health officials

The release also stated that it's common to find rabies in foxes and wolves in Nunavut, and that it can spread to dogs when they're bitten by a rabid fox or wolf.

Health officials issued a warning in late September about a fox suspected of having rabies near the Meliadine Gold Mine. They also issued a warning about increased fox activity for residents of Pangnirtung on Nov. 1, and a similar warning to today's for residents of Iqaluit after a second fox near the territorial capital tested positive for rabies.

A sick fox may appear friendly, and domestic animals should be tied up when they're outside, the release said, adding people should keep an eye on domestic animals for any change in behaviour.

"Rabies can be passed onto people when an infected animal bites, scratches or licks them," reads the release. "A person can also get rabies when handling or skinning infected animals if they have cuts on their skin."

It said if you see a fox or wolf wandering around the community, or if your dog had contact with a fox or wolf, call the wildlife guardian at 867-934-8999 or the regional environmental health officer at 867-645-6660.

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