A walrus tongue has tested positive for the parasite trichinella in Rankin Inlet, the Department of Health is advising residents.

A walrus tongue in Rankin Inlet has tested positive for a parasite that can lead to worms.
Photo courtesy of Jomie Mike

Anyone in the community who has eaten uncooked walrus recently could be infected with the parasite, which causes worm disease. Symptoms to be aware of include stomach pain, muscle pain, diarrhea, swollen eyelids, and sweating and weakness. The health department encourages anyone who has consumed walrus recently and is experiencing some of these symptoms to consult a health-care provider.

The only way to kill trichinella is to cook the meat or body parts — freezing or fermenting the carcass won’t be effective.

To learn more, contact environmental health officer Gary Nelson at 867-645-6660.


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