FAIRFIELD — A rabies alert has been issued in town after two raccoons tested positive for the disease in less than two months, and a third that was killed by police Wednesday is being tested.

The raccoon killed Wednesday reportedly showed rabies symptoms and will be tested immediately.

Officials issued a first warning in early March when a raccoon tested positive after getting in a fight with a house cat on Old Main Street.

On Saturday, police were called to the Fairfield Family Apartments on Main Street for a report of a raccoon that was acting unusually. Police shot and killed the animal, and it was brought to the Maine Centers for Disease Control in Augusta on Monday for testing. On Tuesday, the CDC reported that the animal had tested positive for rabies.

A third raccoon acting in a way consistent with rabies was shot by police Wednesday morning on Western Avenue. The case remains unconfirmed until the animal is tested, according to Police Chief Tom Gould.

That the three animals were found in the same area of town is raising concern among officials.

“Usually, that’s a sign that there could be a high risk for rabies,” said animal control officer David Huff, but there is no way for officials to be positive about that.

Rabies is a virus-borne disease that affects the brain and spinal cord and can cause death if left untreated. The virus lives in the saliva and neural tissue of an infected animal and can be transmitted through a bite or scratch.

Animals infected with rabies will act strangely and may become aggressive. For example, a typically nocturnal animal, like a raccoon or fox, may be out in the middle of the day and wander near cars or people. Infected animals may also lurch from side to side or even fall, “almost like they are drunk,” Huff said.

According to Maine CDC data, the recent cases are the first confirmed rabies in Fairfield since 2006. Out of the 607 animals tested in Maine in 2014, 43, about 7 percent, were found positive for the disease.

Fairfield residents are being asked to keep an eye on their pets and be aware of raccoons or other animals acting strange.

Police said that people should not confront an animal that may be diseased and should contact police or other law enforcement for assistance.

Vaccinating pets against rabies is a legal requirement in Maine, and pet owners should make sure their animals have their shots, police said.

Peter McGuire — 861-9239

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Twitter: @PeteL_McGuire