Officials found dozens of dead raccoons in New York's Central Park, which were killed by a virus outbreak that caused the animals to exhibit zombie-like behavior. What happens to the animals and should people keep away from them? ( Pixabay )
Dozens of raccoons, believed to exhibit zombie-like behavior, were found dead in New York's Central Park last month, causing concern among civil servants and citizens.
This is not the first time that zombie raccoons have been reported. What happens to the raccoons and what should people do when they arrive in Central Park?
Dead & # 39; zombie & # 39; Raccoons in New York's Central Park
More than two dozen raccoons have been found dead in New York's Central Park since June 24, when they were killed by a virus outbreak that causes the animals to exhibit zombie-like behavior. The last dead raccoon was found on the morning of July 21
Some park officials have observed strange behavior among the raccoons.
"They looked as if they were circulating, wandering, having convulsions," Dr. Sally Slavinski, Assistant Director of the New York Health Department. "Some of the raccoons had a kind of nasal discharge."
Raccoons have become an attraction in Central Park in recent years, with some people offering food and even taking selfies. However, as the animals behave like zombies, people were advised to stay away from the raccoons for the time being.
What happens to the raccoons?
The zombie raccoons are not named because they returned from the dead, but because of their strange behavior. However, this is not the first time that cases of zombie raccoons have been reported.
The strange behavior of the raccoons was attributed to the canine distemper virus. Of the 26 dead raccoons found in Central Park last month, two have been tested positive for the virus. The other 24 were also infected because of the proximity of their death in terms of time and place.
Raccoon distemper signs include acting tame or confused then losing their coordination, suddenly falling into unconsciousness and sometimes death. Raccoons infected with the virus can also show aggressive behavior.
Humans are not affected by the virus, but they can bind to dogs, especially those who have not received distemper immunization. Contact with infected urine, faeces, saliva, or respiratory problems causes distemper to spread to other animals, so perhaps taking dogs on walks in Central Park may not be a good idea.
Raccoons carry diseases: rabies
Raccoons are not only reported to be carriers of the canine distemper virus, as there have also been cases in which the animals tested positive for rabies.
According to reports of a rescued raccoon exposing a jogger to 21 people of rabies and a rabid raccoon, it might be a good idea to be wary of the animals, no matter how cute they look.
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