There are so many different diseases for people to worry about that we could name them all. From time to time, however, one disease that most people thought was eradicated makes an appearance again and that is the case with leprosy. This ancient disease can lead to a number of symptoms, including deformities, lesions and permanent damage to the nerves, skin and eyes.
Many people make the assumption that leprosy causes parts of your body to fall off. That is not the case. It may result in a loss of tissue, at times, but that is typically from a secondary infection and not from the leprosy itself. In modern medical terms, leprosy is typically referred to as Hansen’s disease but it is one and the same. It is an infection that is caused by a bacteria. Symptoms may show up anywhere from 5 to 20 years after the infection occurs.
Most people feel as if leprosy has been eradicated but actually, it is still a problem. As a matter of fact, it is even on the rise and the numbers this year have people a bit concerned. Typically, there are about 10 cases of Hansen’s disease in Florida every year. In the first quarter of this year, however, there have already been 9 cases. This is rather surprising but what is even more surprising is the animal that is carrying the disease.
The armadillo is the culprit and residents of Florida and other areas where armadillos are present have been told to avoid them. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is unlikely that you will get Hansen’s disease from an armadillo. But if you spend an extended amount of time with one, however, it increases the odds of it happening.
Of course, you would always want to be cautious when dealing with wild animals. As far as armadillos are concerned, they are fairly benign but the fact that they could spread leprosy has many people concerned.
It isn’t fully known how leprosy spreads but it is thought to be through respiratory droplets. It is rarely transmitted due to a casual contact but when close contact is possible, the odds increase.
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