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Spring Rabies Reminder

26 April 2022

Public Service Announcement

Spring Rabies Reminder

As warmer months approach and more Nunavummiut will be heading out to spend time on the land, the Department of Health wants to remind everyone to be aware of the risk of exposure to rabies.

Rabies is a deadly but preventable virus that can infect animals and humans. Many warm-blooded animals carry rabies including foxes, wolves, and dogs. The virus is passed on when an infected animal bites, scratches, or licks an open wound.

Nunavummiut should also use caution when handling wild animals that are considered to have high risk of rabies infection. Rabies virus can be transmitted through broken skin or mucous membranes in the eyes, nose or mouth. Due to the danger of rabies infection, we remind all residents to use safe handling and skinning practices to protect against rabies. Animals that appear to be unwell or are acting strangely may be infected with rabies and should not be skinned. Rabies has no cure. If you have been bitten or scratched by a fox or a dog, go to the health centre or hospital and report the incident immediately. Treatment must be started quickly after exposure, as rabies infections is almost always fatal. We can all do our part to stop rabies:

  • Be safe; don’t tease dogs.
  • Avoid stray dogs.
  • Supervise children around dogs.
  • Vaccinate your pet regularly.
  • Keep your pets tied on a leash or chain when outside.
  • Contact the health centre immediately if you are bitten or scratched by an animal.

If you have concerns about a rabid animal, contact your local wildlife officer. If your dog is bitten by an animal, call your regional environment health officer or local bylaw officer for instructions.

Regional environment health office contact numbers:

  • Kivalliq region: 1-867-645-8071.
  • Kitikmeot region: 1-867-983-4236.
  • Qikiqtaaluk region: 1-867-975-4817 or 1-867-473-2625.

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Media Contact:

Danarae Sommerville
Communications Specialist
Department of Health
867-975-5712
dsommerville1@gov.nu.ca