HELP US KEEP REPORTING. DONATE TO ORLANDO WEEKLY PRESS CLUB.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Leprosy on the rise in Florida, don't kiss any armadillos

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 6:19 PM

So this is a real thing in the news this week: Leprosy is on the rise in Florida, and three new cases were diagnosed in Volusia County over the past five months. Officials say it's probably linked to armadillos. These adorable little armored mammals are soooooo kissable (see above), but they also happen to carry the bacteria that can cause a leprosy infection. And here's the really distressing part – you could contract leprosy from one and not know it for years, because symptoms can take up to 10 years to show up after infection. Two of the three infected Volusia County patients said they had "close contact" with armadillos, which people sometimes catch and eat. They're known to some as possum on the half-shell (shudder), poor-man's pig or Hoover hogs, because people started eating them during the Depression when many people couldn't afford to buy traditional meats.

Fortunately, modern medicine can cure leprosy if it's caught early enough. And although it's contagious. officials say that about 95 percent of people are immune to it, so they don't contract if if they're exposed.



Just to be safe, steer clear of the armadillos. Look but don't touch. We prefer to admire our armadillos from a distance. Like this super-cute one playing with a dog toy, below.  


Tags: , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 27, 2020

View more issues

Calendar

© 2020 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation