Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Floridians are getting leprosy from armadillos at a higher rate than normal

Posted By on Tue, Jul 21, 2015 at 1:29 PM

  • Photo via wikimedia.org
Reported cases of leprosy, or Hansen's disease, are higher than normal in Florida this year, and experts are blaming armadillos.

On average, the state of Florida sees 10 cases of leprosy a year. So far in 2015, 9 cases of leprosy have already been confirmed in Florida, as reported by WJAX. 

According to the CDC, armadillos are naturally infected with leprosy and they're the only animals known to carry the disease, which is a bacterial infection that affects the nerves, respiratory tract, skin, and eyes.

Leprosy is difficult to detect because the infection can lay dormant for 5 to 20 years. 

Leprosy is easily treated with antibiotics, however you should still take extra precautions next time you're considering petting one of these invasive little guys, they're known to spit at humans. 

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