Leprosy Making A Comeback, Doctors Warn To Avoid This Animal In Particular

It seems that one of the oldest diseases known to man is making a comeback in Florida…thanks to armadillos.

According to recent data from public health officials, the state of Florida has seen a large increase in the number of cases of leprosy this year. Leprosy, also known as Hanson’s disease, is quite rare and usually, there are only 10 cases reported in the state for the entire year.

In 2017, however, there have already been nine cases of leprosy as of the end of March. This means that leprosy cases are up in the state by around 10 fold so far this year.

One of the most surprising things about this leprosy outbreak in the southeast US is the animal that carries the disease. It turns out the apparently harmless armadillo is the vector for this ancient bacterial scourge, and residents of the state have been warned to it is best to stay away from the ugly armored creatures.

Note that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said that the odds of getting leprosy from an armadillo are not very high, but Brad Dalton of the Florida Department of Health notes that spending time handling an armadillo could spread the disease.

Dalton also highlights that spending much time interacting with any wild animal can be dangerous. Animal experts point out that armadillos are increasingly being seen in suburban neighborhoods throughout Florida. However, pet owners do not have to worry as neither cats nor dogs can contract leprosy from armadillos.

Dalton notes that it is not completely clear how leprosy is spread, but most researchers think it can be spread through respiratory droplets (ie, sneezing, wiping nose or mouth). Keep in mind that transmission of leprosy is rarely due to casual contact, but can only really occur when people are sharing a household or otherwise have close contact.

Source: Your Nation News
Photo: Your Nation News

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