Rabid raccoons found in Arlington Co. believed to be part of local outbreak

Two rabid raccoons were found on the same street in Arlington County, Virginia, last week, and are thought to be part of a county-wide outbreak of the disease.

The county said the latest calls about rabid raccoons came on Feb. 4 along 37th Road N. — one in the 4300 block and another in the 5100 block. Authorities said that both animals were showing signs that are consistent with rabies, and Animal Control was able to capture and remove both from the area.

Animal Control believed one of these raccoons may have had contact with two pets.

Arlington County urges residents to look out for raccoons that appear sick, lethargic, disoriented or aggressive.

While the outbreak was originally thought to be concentrated in the county’s Donaldson Run neighborhood, there have been two other sightings of rabid raccoons that have taken place in other parts of Arlington.

On Jan. 30, a rabid raccoon was found in the 6900 block of Williamsburg Boulevard in the East Falls Church neighborhood, and on Feb. 2, another rabid raccoon was found in the 2600 block of Military Road. Both raccoons were captured and removed, and the county said there no exposures to the second raccoon found along Military Road.

Rabies is a deadly disease if medical attention isn’t received soon after a person or animal is either bitten or scratched by an infected animal.

Arlington’s Animal Control reminded residents to stay up to date on rabies vaccinations for their pets and keep dogs on leashes, cats inside and to not approach any wild animals.

Any residents who believe they or someone in their family may have come into contact with any wild animals, including bats or raccoons, they should call Arlington County Animal Control at (703)-931-9241 immediately.

If calling after hours, they should stay on the line to speak with the answering service who will alert an officer.

Matthew Delaney

Matt Delaney is a digital web writer/editor who joined WTOP in 2020.

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