Arlington officials say a raccoon they believe bit and scratched a young child on Fountain Road Wednesday afternoon has tested positive for rabies.
In a statement, Police Chief Julie Flaherty and Director of Health and Human Services Christine Bongiorno described the 4:15 p.m. incident involving a child under 5:
An on-scene investigation determined that the child was in the backyard of the family's home and was attacked by a large raccoon. The child's mother stopped the attack and was able to chase the animal away and called 911. The child suffered bites and scratches from the raccoon.
The child was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital and is expected to be okay.
Officers searched the area and were unable to locate the raccoon in their initial search.
At approximately 5:40 p.m., officers located a raccoon that was acting lethargic that is believed to be the one that attacked the child in the area of nearby Buena Vista Road.
Additional officers responded to the area and the raccoon was humanely euthanized.
The animal's remains were sent to a state lab, which reported today it had tested positive for the potentially fatal virus.