Raccoons Blamed For Distemper Outbreak

Wildlife officials say a there’s a major outbreak of distemper in raccoons in the Ocean Springs area of south Mississippi.

Ocean Springs Animal Control Officer Alvin Flowers tells the Sun Herald that symptoms of the virus can be seen in animals that are disoriented, with gummy eyes and unable to use their legs.

Flowers captured such a raccoon Wednesday in a backyard. He’s seen this again and again since mid-June with some cases worse than others, but all fatal.

Why this is happening now is a mystery, but animal-virus experts say heat is a factor. Distemper is a viral disease that is not a threat to humans.