The Nunavut Department of Health is advising residents of Sanikiluaq that a walrus has tested positive for trichinella.

Image/skeeze via pixabay
Image/skeeze via pixabay

Health officials advise the public that if you ate uncooked walrus recently, and experienced stomach pain, muscle pain, diarrhea, swollen eyelids, sweating and weakness, you might be infected with trichinella, the parasite that causes worm disease.

You should go to the health care centre if you ate uncooked walrus and have any of these symptoms.

Testing walrus before consumption will prevent trichinosis. Before eating walrus that someone else caught, ask if it was tested. Freezing or fermenting meat will not kill trichinella; it can only be killed by cooking. Free testing for walrus tongues is available.

In the Arctic, trichinellosis, or trichinosis, is caused by a microscopic parasite called Trichinella nativa, sometimes found in the meat of wild mammals like polar bears, black bears, wolves, foxes and, most commonly, walruses.