CDC test says DC dog that died did not have rabies

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story reported that the dog had been euthanized. A Department of Health official says the dog died on its own. The story has been updated to reflect that.

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have ruled that a bulldog that initially tested positive for rabies, did not in fact have the virus.

Health officials in D.C. and in Arlington had already alerted the public and reached out to those who may have come in contact with the dog named Fred.

“Once the initial test was positive, we had to act quickly to inform the public and to begin treatment of anyone exposed,” said the Arlington County Public Health department in a statement.

“We are relieved that the CDC test confirmed that the bulldog was not, in fact, rabid and the public was not at risk.”

On July 31, the D.C. Department of Health confirmed a case of rabies and sent the test sample to the CDC for confirmation. The CDC determined the results were negative and the dog did not have rabies.

The dog had been vaccinated in Virginia and was sick, but not showing symptoms of the disease when it boarded at DogMa Daycare and Boarding for Dogs on L Street SE July 14-17.

The dog died on July 20.

Arlington County Public Health said in a statement that anyone who began rabies vaccinations based on the initial false positive test is not at risk of rabies and should stop the vaccination series.

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