One week after rabies warning, fox attacks person in Arctic Canada

A fox attacked someone in Igloolik Monday, one week after Nunavut health officials warned that a fox in the community had tested positive for rabies. (iStock)

Nunavut’s health department is again warning people in Igloolik to be on the lookout for foxes, this time after someone in the community was attacked by a fox Monday.

It happened one week after Nunavut health officials warned that a fox in the community had tested positive for rabies.

No information was immediately available on the person’s condition.

Anyone who’s been bitten or scratched by a fox or a dog should go to the health centre immediately as “treatment must be started quickly,” a news release reads.

The same release warns people that sick foxes may appear friendly, and should not be approached.

And it asks people to keep an eye out on dogs who show changes in behaviour or signs of rabies, which include behaving strangely, staggering, frothing at the mouth, choking or making strange noises.

If you do see an animal in that state, or your dog has had contact with a fox or wolf, call the Wildlife Guardian in Igloolik at 867-934-8999 or the regional environmental health officer at 867-645-6660.

Rabies in the Eastern Arctic

Earlier this month, health officials issued a similar warning about rabies in Iqaluit, after a second fox there tested positive for rabies, following an earlier positive test in November.

That warning advised Iqalummiut to keep an eye out for foxes, and to be careful around unfamiliar dogs, who may have been infected. A notice about an increase in fox sightings was also issued for residents of Pangnirtung on Nov. 1.

Another fox was suspected of being infected with rabies near the Meliadine Gold Mine in late September, prompting a warning to mine workers and residents of Rankin Inlet.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Climate change could mean more wildlife disease in the Arctic, researchers say, CBC News

Greenland: In the Arctic, ‘everything is changing,’ massive animal tracking study finds, CBC News

Norway: Arctic fox’s rapid journey from Svalbard to Northern Canada stuns researchers, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Swedish scientists ‘cautiously optimistic’ about Arctic fox population, Radio Sweden

CBC News

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