Public Health officials issued a warning Dec. 31 that two foxes near Tuktoyaktuk have test positive for rabies and that people should be mindful of their pets in the region, which could be potential targets for the infected animals.
“If you have been bitten scratched or in contact with a fox, or your dog after it was attacked you should contact the Rosie Ovayuak Health Centre and report the incident immediately,” said the press statement. “Rabies in humans can be fatal. If your dog was attacked, please contact ENR wildlife officer to report the contact.
“Getting your dogs vaccinated for rabies is an important way to reduce the risk for you and your community from rabies.”
The press release notes the GNWT was working to get a qualified person to issue vaccinations in the community in January.
It notes anyone who uses a dog sled or otherwise is heavily reliant on their animals should ensure their pet’s vaccinations are up to date, noting there have been incidents of dogs being attacked by foxes in the area.
Rabies is an almost-always fatal disease that is spread through saliva of sick animals. Affecting the brain, the disease kills an average of 50,000 people a year. To date, there have been no recorded cases of rabies in the NWT.
For more information, the GNWT has a factsheet posted on its website.