Rabid fox found near Rankin Inlet

Health officials urge residents to keep strangely behaving animals away from children and pets

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Foxes are abundant in Nunavut this season. Health officials are urging residents to be careful around the animals, to prevent the transmission of rabies. (FILE PHOTO)


Foxes are abundant in Nunavut this season. Health officials are urging residents to be careful around the animals, to prevent the transmission of rabies. (FILE PHOTO)

Nunavut’s Department of Health is warning residents of Rankin Inlet to be wary of foxes, after a fox discovered at the community dump was confirmed to have rabies.

The department is asking residents to ensure their children don’t try to play with foxes, and to keep their dogs tied up and under a watchful eye.

Rabies can cause animals to behave strangely, froth at the mouth and make strange noises. Sick foxes sometimes appear friendly.

Anyone bitten or scratched by a fox should visit the community health centre immediately, as treatment for rabies, a potentially deadly disease, must be started quickly.

Early symptoms of the virus include fever, headache and general weakness. If rabies progresses untreated, it can cause insomnia, anxiety, confusion, partial paralysis, hallucinations, an increase in saliva and difficulty swallowing.

A rabid fox was recently caught near Baker Lake in mid-November. Earlier that month, the Department of Health issued a warning that foxes are abundant in Nunavut this season.

If you see a fox or wolf, or your dog has contact with one of these animals, call a conservation officer immediately at 867-222-0386 or the regional environmental health officer at 867-975-4800 or after hours at 867-975-5772.

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