This story has been updated.
Three people in upper Northwest Washington are being treated after having been attacked by a rabid raccoon, D.C. health officials said.
In a statement issued Monday night, the D.C. Health Department said the raccoon was captured in the Chevy Chase neighborhood and humanely euthanized. The city’s public health laboratory said the animal tested positive for the rabies virus.
According to the health department, two pets were also exposed to the animal. The pets were evaluated by a veterinarian, given booster shots of rabies vaccine and remain confined. The people have begun to receive treatment administered after bites to prevent infection. Rabies can be fatal is left untreated.
One victim described being bitten Sunday morning near 30th Place and Nebraska Avenue NW. The nature and timing of the attacks on the other two could not be immediately learned.
Rabies is transmitted through saliva or brain/nervous system tissue, according to information on the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most common means of transmission of the virus is through a bite, but it also can be transmitted if saliva of an infected animal comes in contact with an open wound or mucous membranes, such as the eyes or mouth.
D.C. animal control officers were alerted Monday that the raccoon had been spotted near Nebraska Avenue and 32nd Street NW, the health department said. It was captured at 2:10 p.m. The site is a residential neighborhood about a half-mile west of Rock Creek Park.
Raccoons are among the animals most frequently infected with the rabies virus. Skunks, bats, coyotes and fox are among other animals that are also common carriers.
Anyone who may have encountered a raccoon during the time involved is advised to contact D.C. Health at 202-442-9143 or email@example.com