UPDATE: This encounter did not take place in Fairfax County as originally reported by the victim, police said. It took place in Carroll County, Maryland. Authorities there have been notified.
A rabid cat was found in the Springfield, Virginia, area on Sunday after coming in contact with a person along the Long Branch Trail, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.
Police said a man was walking along the Long Branch trail, near the 6200 block of Levi Court, about a quarter-mile north of Franconia-Springfield Metro Station, when he encountered and was scratched by the cat around 8 a.m. The cat was extremely aggressive and died during the attack.
The cat was tested for the rabies virus on Monday, June 6, and the results came back positive for rabies. The victim is undergoing preventative treatment for exposure to rabies.
Police said during the time it was infectious, the cat may have had contact with other people or pets. The cat is described as a domestic shorthair, with a black and brown tortoise shell coat pattern and a clouded left eye. It is an adult female estimated to weigh up to 15 pounds.
If anyone had direct contact with the cat between May 27 and June 5, they are urged to call the Fairfax County Health Department’s Rabies Coordinator at 571-274-2296, TTY 711.