Arlington officials said a raccoon they believed was small and scratched a child on Fountain Road Wednesday afternoon was positive for rabies.
In a statement, Police Chief Julie Flaherty and Director of Health and Human Services Christine Bongiorno described the 4:15 pm incident involving a child under 5:
An investigation into the scene determined that the child was in the back of the family home and was attacked by a large raccoon. The child’s mother stopped the attack and chased the animal and called 911. The child sustained a bite and scratch from the raccoon.
The child was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital and is expected to be okay.
Officers searched the area and could not find the raccoon in their initial search.
At about 5:40 p.m., officers found an raccoon acting believed to be attacking the child at the nearby Buena Vista Road area.
Additional officers responded to the area and the raccoon was humane.
The remains of the animal were sent to a state lab, which was reported today to be positive for the deadly virus.