Rabies found in Igloolik fox, Nunavut government warns
Wildlife officers caught the fox May 23
A fox captured in Igloolik has tested positive for rabies, Nunavut’s Department of Health said in a news release, May 29.
Wildlife officers caught the fox on May 23, within the boundaries of the hamlet—where about 1,600 people live.
Foxes spotted in and around communities are considered a danger because if infected with rabies, they can transmit the virus to dogs, and to people.
Treatment for the infection must begin immediately.
“If you have been bitten or scratched, or had any contact with a fox, please go to the health centre and report the incident immediately,” the GN release said.
The rabies virus infects the central nervous system, causing disease in the brain which can be fatal.
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.
Death will often occur within days of the onset of those symptoms.
If you see a fox or wolf in or near Igloolik, the GN said, you should call conservation officer immediately at 867-222-0386 or the regional environmental health officer at 867-222-6660.