A second fox has tested positive for rabies in Iglulik following the second incidence of a fox attacking a person in the community, according to the Department of Health.

“It was originally thought the animal was too badly damaged to test, however samples were able to be taken,” the department stated in a Friday news release.

The first fox attack against a person in Iglulik and subsequent detection of rabies occurred on Dec. 20.

Anyone who has been bitten or scratched by a fox or a dog is urged to go to the health centre and report the encounter immediately. Treatment must be started quickly.

If you see an animal behaving strangely, staggering, frothing at the mouth, choking or making strange noises, avoid the animal and report it to conservation officer.

A fox that is sick may appear friendly. Children should not play with foxes or other wildlife. Keep domestic animals tied up when they are outside and monitor them for a change in behaviour and signs of rabies.

Rabies is commonly found in foxes and wolves in Nunavut and can spread to dogs when they are bitten by a rabid fox or wolf. Rabies can be passed onto people when an infected animal bites, scratches or licks them. A person can also get rabies when handling or skinning infected animals if they have cuts on their skin.

If you see a fox or wolf wandering around the community, or if your dog had contact with a fox or wolf, call the Wildlife Guardian at 867-934-8999 or the regional environmental health officer at 867-645-6660.

Derek Neary

Derek Neary has been reporting on developments in the North for 18 years. When he's not writing for Nunavut News, he's working on Northern News Services' special publications such as Opportunities North,...

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