A county-wide rabies outbreak is suspected, and pet owners are advised to keep their pets updated on the rabies vaccine.

On Thursday last week, Arlington county reported sightings of two raccoons exhibiting symptoms of rabies. Authorities received calls about the first sighting in the 4300 Block in the Old Glebe neighborhood near Glebe Road Park and the Gulf Branch Nature Center. The second raccoon was spotted in the same street in Block 5100 in the Rock Spring neighborhood near Williamsburg Middle School.

Both animals were captured and removed by Animal Control from the area.

“On February 4, 2021, Arlington County Animal Control responded to two separate incidents for raccoons,” said the county officials in a press release. “Both of the raccoons in these incidents were captured and removed by animal control; both raccoons were showing neurological signs consistent with rabies. One of these raccoons may have had contact with two pets.”

Arlington county is seeing growing cases of rabid raccoons since November last year, and health officials are now suspecting the outbreak is no longer contained in a particular neighborhood.

Rabies, if not treated on time, can be fatal for both humans and animals. Hence, the county officials are now urging people to keep their pets in check and updated on the rabies vaccine.

Earlier on January 30, a rabid raccoon was found in the East Falls Church neighborhood. On February 2, another rabid raccoon was found in the 2600 block of Military Road. Both the animals were captured and removed from the areas.

Arlington county is urging its residents to be vigilant and not to interact with any wild animals.

“If you, your child, or your pet may have come into contact with any wild animals including bats or raccoons, please call Arlington County Animal Control at 703-931-9241 immediately,” the press release continued. “If calling after hours, please stay on the line to speak with the answering service who will alert an Officer. If you see a raccoon that appears sick, lethargic, disoriented, or aggressive, do NOT approach the animal and please call Animal Control immediately.”