Washington, DC – The DC Department of Health has been informed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that confirmatory tests showed that a DC dog did not have rabies. The dog had initially tested positive for rabies. It was not euthanized and died from yet unknown causes that were unrelated to rabies.
Based on the positive result, and since rabies is a fatal disease to both people and animals when they are exposed, DOH recommended out of an abundance of caution that all people exposed to the dog start rabies post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) immediately and any dog exposed immediately receive a rabies vaccine booster and complete a 45 day home confinement.
With the CDC tests confirming that the dog did not have rabies, anyone currently receiving PEP does not need to continue and can stop immediately. Dogs under confinement can now resume normal activities. Neither people nor dogs were put at risk through rabies treatments.
District residents with questions are urged to email DOH at [email protected] or call (202) 442-9143 during business hours.
The previous, and now outdated, press release is below for reference.