Warning issued after walrus caught near Sanikiluaq tests positive for disease

Health Department says trichinella could be spread by eating infected meat

A walrus killed recently near Sanikiluaq has tested positive for trichinella, the Health Department says. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

Residents of Sanikiluaq are being warned that a walrus hunted near there on Sept. 19 has tested positive for trichinella.

In a news release late Friday, the Nunavut Health Department advised anyone who has eaten uncooked walrus recently and is experiencing stomach or muscle pain, diarrhea, swollen eyelids, sweating and weakness to see a doctor.

“Let your health care provider know that you ate uncooked walrus if you have any of these symptoms,” the release said.

The department said testing a walrus first will prevent anyone from getting trichinosis. Before eating walrus that someone else has caught, it said, ask if it has been tested.

It said freezing or fermenting meal will not kill trichinella, it can only be killed by cooking.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency website says trichinella, or trichinosis, is a disease that can affect both animals and humans. It’s caused by nematodes, or roundworms, and infected larvae can be transferred from host to host by eating raw or uncooked infected meat.

For more information on walrus testing, contact the environmental health officer at 867-975-1163.


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(4) Comments:

  1. Posted by Old timer on

    4 days later meats probably gone now.

  2. Posted by Old timer on

    4 days later

  3. Posted by wildlife tech on

    From my experience with testing for the trichinella parasite, Hudson Bay, Ottawa Island walrus are more often infected than walrus from other areas, (Sanikiluaq, I do not know about those) why that is ? is anyone’s guess, older animals too are more often are infected.

    • Posted by Just cook it on

      I’m not certain, but perhaps it is just that older animals have simply had more time and opportunity to become infected, or their immune systems are less resistant. These are just guesses.

      As long as people are cooking their walrus to at least 71c (160f) there should be nothing to worry about anyway.

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