(Washington, DC) The DC Department of Health (DOH) officials reported, today, that at approximately 1:15 p.m., a possible rabid raccoon was spotted at the intersection of the 900 block of North Capital and K Streets, NE The raccoon attacked and bit two people earlier in the day. The raccoon's erratic and aggressive behavior is consistent with a raccoon that has contracted rabies.
The DOH is asking residents and visitors not to approach the raccoon. If seen, please contact animal control at (202)576-6664 immediately, 24 hours a day. If bitten or exposed, please consult your physician immediately and contact animal control at (202)576-6664.
Rabies is a fatal disease transmitted from animals to humans, caused by a virus that attacks the central nervous system, causing convulsions, paralysis and finally death. The virus is present in the saliva of a rabid animal and is transmitted primarily by animal bites and rarely by contamination of open wounds, fresh abrasions or mucous membranes.
All warm-blooded animals can be affected by the virus, but it is most often found in wildlife such as, raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats. Dogs and cats may contract rabies if they have not been vaccinated against rabies.
Symptoms of rabies include marked changes in an animal's behavior.
A rabid animal may:
- Be unnaturally withdrawn
- Be unusually friendly or calm
- Be very docile
- Snap at anything in its path
- Appear in daytime (if it is a nocturnal animal and normally is awake and active during the night)
- Search for an isolated place to die
For further information about rabies, please contact the Department of Health's Animal Control Division at (202) 576-6664 twenty-four (24) hours a day.