At least 26 raccoons were found dead in Central Park in New York City. A virus appears to have caused the deaths.

The virus, which is similar to others like the West Nile virus, could affect other animals around the area if it is as serious as it seems to be. Many scientists are coming up with explanations for why this may have happened and why it happened so quickly. Animal experts have been on the scene trying to determine what caused these raccoons to suddenly die.

Tested positive for canine distemper

According to Fox News, two of the raccoons have tested positive for canine distemper virus.The other 24 raccoons may also have been infected by distemper.

According to Fox News, Dr. Sally Slavinski, assistant director at the health department said that “ it looked like they were circulating, wandering, having spasms.” She further said that “some of the raccoons had some sort of nasal discharge.” This prompted her to seek a specialist in order to understand what would cause these raccoons to die like this.

No risk to humans or pets

According to a report by NBC News, humans can’t be affected by the virus. It also doesn’t affect pets that have had recently updated distemper virus vaccinations. If you living in the area, and your pets haven’t gotten vaccinated yet, then you should get your pet checked out by a vet, as soon as possible. Vaccinations will decrease the likelihood of catching the virus and should cause no harm to your pets.

Tested negative for animal-associated virus

According to NBC News, the park’s department said that “of the 26 dead raccoons, 13 tested negative for rabies.” The park asks that any New York residents should call 311 to request a local park ranger if they see a sick or injured raccoon.

They would bring it to someone who is an expert on raccoons and determine whether or not it has the virus or not.

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It is best to avoid those raccoons that show symptoms of rabies. If you get bit by one, you should get a rabies shot, immediately.

According to Fox News, animals with the distemper virus act strange and may appear tame or confused before losing their coordination, becoming unconscious, and in some cases, dying. It is crucial to your safety that you stay away from raccoons that are not acting normal, and keep your pets safe, as well.

Even if your certain that those raccoons you see are not affected, it is still important to pay attention to your surroundings at all times. The experts are still looking for a cure to this virus, and this story will get updated as soon as we get more information.