Raccoons with distemper reported in Northeast Ohio

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ohio – Highland Heights police confirm two reports of raccoons with distemper.

The reports of so-called “zombie” raccoons have spread across the country, but these are the first reports of infected raccoons confirmed in Northeast Ohio.

Distemper is a virus that can kill your pet and may cause them to exhibit strange symptoms.

According to Highland Heights officers, residents reported “strange acting raccoons.”

Following tests by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, it was confirmed the raccoons have distemper.

Some of the symptoms reported were wandering aimlessly and an emaciated appearance.

Distemper causes neurological equilibrium problems, coughing, tremors and can also cause raccoons to lose their fear of humans.

If your pet is not vaccinated, it could get sick if it comes in contact with an infected raccoon.

Call your local board of health if you have concerns about an animal. In Cuyahoga County the number is (216)201-2000.

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