Officials warn of ‘zombie raccoons’ after reported sightings

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You may remember when we told you about “zombie deer disease,” a term referencing chronic wasting disease in deers that made headlines nationwide earlier this year.

But now apparently officials are warning of “zombie raccoons” after reported sightings inseveral cities and states including Chicago, Illinois.

According to a post from the city of Dublin, Ohio where sightings have been reported, “zombie raccoons” come about due to the distemper virus that causes raccoons to display “abnormal neurologic signs.”

The disease can be deadly to dogs, officials said, so it’s important to keep an eye out for your furry friends.

Apparently it means pretty much what you may already be thinking — raccoons will display zombie-like behavior due to distemper. 

Symptoms include: 

  • Walking around dazed and confused, and/or approaching people or pets
  • Staggering or falling down when walking
  • Showing their teeth
  • Having “glowing” eyes

City officials said the eyes of infected raccoons can appear to glow and have an “eery greenish” tint to them due to abnormal mineral deposits associated with the disease.

Humans can not catch distemper, but according to the Humane Society, humans can unknowingly transfer the disease to their dogs. 

The disease is highly contagious and can spread through several methods including inhalation and contact with raccoon feces. 

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