NYC nails cause of ‘zombie racoon’ annihilation in Central Park
The alarming number of dead racoons were discovered at the city site between June and July, mystifying the New York City Parks Department and worrying locals who feared the sudden deaths could be the start of a “zombie outbreak.”
The Parks Department has tested half of the dead animals for rabies and none of the 13 came up positive, however two did show positive signs for distemper, a viral disease that can spread relatively easily in large racoon populations.
The disease makes those infected to “act disoriented and lethargic and they can become aggressive,” warns the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The normally-fatal disease, the symptoms of which include diarrhoea and a watery nose and eyes, cannot infect humans, but can affect dogs who have not been vaccinated and come into contact with “infected saliva, feces, respiratory discharge or urine.”
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