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  • Twenty-six raccoons have been found dead in Central Park, officials said[hhmc]

  • So far, two of them have tested positive for canine distemper virus, an illness that affects dogs and creatures like raccoons and skunks[hhmc]

  • The illness doesn't pose any risk to humans [hhmc]

More than two dozen raccoons have been found dead in Central Park — two of which tested positive for canine distemper virus, officials said.

Twenty-six of the creatures were found dead in various parts of the park in June and July, the first of which were discovered on June 24 and June 28, the citys Parks Department said.

So far, two of the raccoons have tested positive for canine distemper virus, a viral illness that can affect dogs and creatures like raccoons and skunks, the department said.

Raccoons with distemper “act disoriented and lethargic, and they can become aggressive,” the citys Health Department said. Animals can contract distemper by making contact with infected saliva, feces, urine or respiratory discharge, according to the health department.

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The illness doesnt pose any risk to humans, and pets with up-to-date distemper vaccinations cant catch it, the health department added.

Of the 26 deceased raccoons, 13 tested negative for rabies, the Parks Department said. The department is still waiting on results for nine of the raccoons. Three of the creatures werent able to be tested because they were in an advanced state of decay, and one raccoon found yesterday has yet to be tested, the department added.

“We ask the public to call 311 to request NYC Park Rangers if they see a sick or injured raccoon,” the department said.

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USA Today

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