City of Fairfax Police and Animal Control officers are cautioning residents after a bat found in a local neighborhood tested positive for rabies, and may have been handled by children.
According to a statement issued by the police department Monday afternoon, an Animal Control officer responded to a call from a resident of the 3800 block of Farr Oak Circle this past Friday, Sept. 27, who reported that several children had been seen near a sick or injured bat in the neighborhood.
The citizen was uncertain whether the juveniles had picked up the bat.
The officer transported the bat to a veterinary hospital, where it was euthanized.
Subsequent testing by the Fairfax County Health Department determined that the bat had the rabies virus.
"Consequently, it is essential that the juveniles be identified to determine if post-exposure measures are required," the police's statement said.
To prevent the spread of rabies, citizens are reminded to vaccinate all pet dogs and cats and keep them under control at all times.
Both adults and children are cautioned against approaching stray dogs or cats or any wildlife, especially foxes and raccoons, and to never handle or touch the animals, Animal Control officers said.
Signs in wildlife that might indicate rabies include snarling, growling, hissing, the animal biting itself or the animal approaching people.
Anyone who has additional information regarding this incident or who can identify any child who may have handled the bat is asked to contact Animal Control Officer Holden at 703-385-7919 or City of Fairfax Police dispatch at 703-385-7924.
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