Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut December 14, 2016 - 8:30 am

Fox killed in Arviat tests positive for rabies

Local children may have come in contact with animal, GN warns

A teenager in Arviat killed this fox outside her home Nov. 27. (FACEBOOK SCREENGRAB)
A teenager in Arviat killed this fox outside her home Nov. 27. (FACEBOOK SCREENGRAB)

Wildlife officials have warned residents of Arviat that a fox found and killed within the community last month has tested positive for rabies.

The fox was discovered outside a home Nov. 27 in the Kivalliq community, where a teenage girl, Deanna Netser, 17, killed the animal with a frozen mop.

A local wildlife officer came to collect the animal to have it tested.

Nunavut’s health department has asked anyone who might have come in contact with the animal to report the incident to the local health centre.

“Some children may have had contact with this fox before it was killed,” the health department said in a Dec. 13 release.

Dogs, foxes and wolves are the most common carriers of rabies in Nunavut. Foxes caught in communities in the Kitikmeot and Kivalliq region last December tested positive for the deadly viral infection.

Animals can transmit rabies to people, and once rabies infects the central nervous system, it causes disease in the brain which can be fatal. Treatment must begin soon after a scratch or bite from a rabid animal, the health department advised.

Arviat residents who see a fox or wolf wondering through the community should call the local wildlife office right away at 867-857-3169.

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