Four Cases of Rabid Raccoons found this April in Wards Four and Five

Photo by PoPville flickr user pablo.raw

Ed. Note: I’ve recently been accused of sensationalizing my headlines. All I’m gonna say is I coulda made this one a lot better…

From DC Department of Health:

“The following animals resulted rabid from test results received April 15, 2014. The count of animal rabies in the District for year 2014 is 14 thus far:

Raccoon –1-yr old female, had young, and brain trauma, was found walking slowly on 4/4 at a resident’s yard at the 1400 blk of Webster St. NW in Ward 4.

Raccoon – 1-yr old male was killed by resident’s dogs on 4/7 at the 700 blk of 19th St. NE in Ward 5. Dogs will be placed on quarantine.

Raccoon – 1 old male, thin, with brain trauma and found non responsive and dying on 4/12 at the 4000 blk of 24th St. NE in Ward 5.

Raccoon – 1 old male, thin, with brain trauma was found sick and unaware on 4/10 at the 3000 blk of South Dakota Ave.NE in Ward 5.

Investigation is still pending on any animal or human exposures. Information shall be sent out electronically to the area residents via the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Engagement.”

13 Comment

  • pablo .raw

    If I knew you were going to use this photo, I would have photoshopped some foam on his mouth. 😀

  • Poor things.

  • justinbc

    Haha, yes, I totally read this the first time as four boxes (aka cases) of raccoons being unleashed.

  • I spotted a raccoon that I suspected of being rabid a few years ago (in broad daylight, moving slowly, bumping into things), and called animal control. I was amazed and pleased at how quickly they arrived, and also at how compassionate they were. They took precautions, sure, but they handled the animal gently and quietly. Where I come from, it woulda been the ten cent cure, no questions asked.

    • saf

      Our animal control officers are generally wonderful people, who are quite overworked. Every one I have ever encountered had been great.

  • Forgive me for my ignorance, but what does it mean by brain trauma? Does the rabies itself cause that, or is it just a coincidence that they all had it? And does brain trauma mean a physical injury (like someone/something kicked it in the head, etc.)?

    • Rabies physically degrades brain tissue.

    • The rabies virus infects cells of the central nervous system. If you are bitten, the infection spreads along the nervous system, typically to the spine and then eventually to the brain. In terms of brain trauma, it causes inflammation of the brain; given that the skull is a finite size, I suppose that physical compression damage could occur as the inflammation increases.

  • Good to know. As I gazed out of the back window to look for the cause of a noise on the back porch, I saw a racoon standing on his hind legs looking back at me. Scary. We are in Ward 4…

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