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Health Officials Looking for Teen Exposed to Rabies

The District Department of Health is trying to locate a male teenager who was seen holding a rabid raccoon on or about Oct. 12.

Metropolitan police officers found the raccoon in an alley unable to walk and sneezing in the 700 block of Kennedy St. NW, said Lashon Beamon, spokeswoman for the health department.

The raccoon was euthanized and then tested for rabies, a fatal disease that attacks the central nervous system, Beamon said.

A boy told the officers that he saw a teen playing with the raccoon earlier, Beamon said.

The teen is described as Latino "with a gold outlined tooth," according to a health department news release.

Beamon said health officials suspected the raccoon was rabid because of the reports of the teen holding it.

"Their normal character would be to run," she said. "Most of the time a raccoon is not going to walk toward you or allow you hold it....We want to make sure this person gets the medical attention needed."

Anyone with information can contact the District's 24-hour animal control hotline at (202) 576-6664.

By Nikita R Stewart  |  October 23, 2008; 1:25 PM ET
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