NYC Raccoons Infected with ‘Zombie Like’ Virus
Could this be a new spin off of The Walking Dead? We certainly hope not, but still this is a bit worrisome especially for pet owners.
You don't necessarily think about raccoons running about town in New York City, but they're more common than you think. Especially in Central Park.
ABC 7 NY is reporting that there has been a strange trend with raccoons in New York City since June of this year. According to ABC "A viral outbreak is now being blamed for the deaths of more than two dozen raccoons in Central Park."
The 26 raccoons that were affected by this viral outbreak acted "zombie like." They would be aggressive, seem confused and have spasms. When the raccoons were tested, they came back negative for rabies. However, they tested positive for "canine distemper virus."
While canine distemper virus doesn't affect humans it can be spread to vaccinated dogs.
The American Veterinary Medical Association describes canine distemper virus as "a contagious and serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of puppies and dogs."
They stress that vaccination is the strongest preventative measure to take. While there is no word yet on the seriousness of the NYC outbreak, the AVMA says "Canine distemper outbreaks in local raccoon populations can signal increased risk for pet dogs in the area."