'Zombie-like' raccoons test positive for distemper

YOUNGSTOWN — The “zombie-like” raccoons that were spotted in the city the weekend of March 30 have tested positive for distemper.

Earlier this month, the Youngstown Health Department announced the raccoons had tested negative for rabies.

While distemper, which has similar symptoms to rabies, cannot be transmitted to humans, it can be transmitted to dogs.

The Youngstown Health Department does not provide distemper vaccines but Health Commissioner Erin Bishop said Animal Charity Humane Society in Boardman and Angels for Animals in Canfield offer the vaccine.

While the city has not received reports of raccoons with distemper since April 2, Bishop urged all pet-owners in the city to vaccinate their animals.

Police took six reports of raccoons from March 30 through April 2, four of which were on the West Side near Mill Creek MetroParks.

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