VICKSBURG, Miss. (WJTV) – Officials with the Vicksburg Animal Shelter announced on Thursday that the shelter has to quarantine for 21 days due to a recent discovery.

The shelter recently took in a litter of puppies that tested positive for distemper.

Symptoms of distemper include runny eyes, runny nose, coughing, fever and lethargy. The disease could eventually lead to neurological symptoms, including seizures and death.

Officials at the shelter said the disease has an extremely high fatality rate and is not curable.

“Therefore, the only way to know if our animals are infected is to wait out the quarantine period. This is the sad reality of our shelter at this point, and we hope that none of our other animals will fall victim to this virus. If this does in fact take place, the quarantine period will have to be extended,” officials with the shelter stated in a Facebook post.

Distemper can be preventable with proper vaccinations.

Shelter officials believe the puppies were exposed to the disease by a racoon because there is a high population of raccoons in the area they were picked up from. They said there has been a major increase in infected raccoons in the Vicksburg area and the state of Mississippi.

After speaking with veterinarians, shelter officials said they can safely take in and adopt out cats. However, no dogs will be taken in or out of the shelter during the quarantine period.