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Raccoon tests positive for rabies in Arlington County

Arlington County Animal Control said the raccoon found behind the Charles Drew Community Center was captured and removed. The animal tested positive for the rabies.

ARLINGTON, Va. — Editor's note: The video above is from an unrelated story about a rabid coyote from June 4, 2022.

Arlington County Animal Control (ACAC) officials say they have received confirmation of a raccoon testing positive for rabies in Arlington.

The department responded to a call around 7:30 a.m. for a disoriented raccoon in the 3400 block of 22nd Street, just behind the Charles Drew Community Center. 

The raccoon was reportedly displayed neurological signs consistent with rabies.

ACAC said the raccoon was captured and removed.

This news comes after Anne Arundel County health officials confirmed reports of rabid raccoons attacking residents last month.

Rabies is a disease that can spread to people from the bite or scratch of infected animals. The disease could turn fatal if it is not properly treated by medical care.

If you, or anyone you know, may have come into contact with this raccoon, call ACAC at 703-931-9241. 

If you're calling after business hours, stay on the line to speak with the answering service, who will alert the on-duty officer.

Public health released several tips so that residents can protect their families and pets against rabies.

Their suggestions are listed below:

  • Ensure pets are up to date on their rabies and distemper vaccines
  • Feed pets inside
  • Keep dogs on a lease at all times and keep cats inside
  • Remove wildlife attractants from yards, such as unsecured garbage cans, open containers of food, and compost.
  • Do not approach or feed any wild animals

ACAC is asking residents to remain vigilant and if they see any animal that appears disoriented, aggressive, sick, or lethargic to keep a distance from the animal and call Animal Control immediately at 703-931-9241.

If you come across a dead rabies vector animal (including cats, dogs, foxes, raccoons, and groundhogs) in a public space, quickly call Animal Control and do not take matters into your own hands. 

RELATED: DC Health: 3 kits of euthanized fox with rabies 'no longer able to be safely rehabilitated'

RELATED: Fairfax County police officer shoots, kills coyote after attack

RELATED: 2 raccoons in Anne Arundel County test positive for rabies

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