Distemper Increase In Local Raccoons

December 16, 2014

Huron County, ON – The number of raccoons testing positive for distemper in Huron County has increased, especially in the northwest area of the county. The Huron County Health Unit reminds residents to stay away from raccoons and other wild animals.

Distemper is caused by a virus that is easily transmitted between raccoons and between raccoons and unvaccinated family pets such as cats and dogs.

Distemper can cause a respiratory infection and watery eyes in affected animals. The animal may start to wander, look disoriented, approach humans or behave strangely. Affected animals can die from distemper.

Although distemper cannot be transmitted to humans, Public Health Inspector Patrick Landry reminds residents that raccoons with distemper can bite and scratch people who get too close.

“We recommend that people stay away from wild animals, including raccoons,” says Landry. “If you suspect that an animal is sick or injured, or if you see an animal behaving strangely, contact your local animal control officer.”

Do not leave food out as it may attract raccoons. Pet owners should make sure pets are vaccinated against distemper.


For more information:

Our media contact is: Rita Marshall, Communications Co-ordinator, 519-482-3416 ext. 2023 or rmarshall@huroncounty.ca

Our spokesperson is: Patrick Landry, Public Health Inspector

For more information contact:

Rebecca Bartley, Communications Coordinator
519.482.3416 (ext 2023)