A fox attacked an Iglulik resident on Monday, further raising concerns about the transmission of rabies.

The Department of Health provided no detail regarding the extent of the individual’s injuries.

On Dec. 14, a fox in the Iglulik area tested positive for rabies, the Department of Health revealed last week.

“The significant number of sightings and recent confirmed case of rabies in foxes in Iglulik has greatly increased the risk of human exposure to rabies,” the department stated in a news release. “Due to the danger of rabies, we advise all residents to be on the lookout for foxes in your area.”

Anyone who has been bitten or scratched by a fox or a dog, is encouraged to go to the health centre and report the incident immediately. Treatment must be started quickly to be most effective.

Residents who see an animal behaving strangely, staggering, frothing at the mouth, choking or making strange noises, are urged to avoid the animal and report it to a conservation officer.

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. Therefore, dogs should be tied up and monitored.

People can contract rabies when an infected animal bites, scratches or licks them. The disease can also enter through cuts in human skin when handling the carcasses of infected animals.

Foxes or wolves wandering around the community can be reported to the wildlife guardian at 867-934-8999 or the regional environmental health officer at 867-645-6660.

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