Can armadillos transmit leprosy to people?

ANSWER: Possibly, I mean, technically yes, but it's extremely rare. Like, you have to handle armadillos a lot and have bad luck. Maybe even eat them. I'd say you're not at high risk.

Armadillos are creatures that are tank like. Just like the humans, These animals can carry leprosy. Recently, there was an emergence of new leprosy cases in Florida. This is a disease that is very much stigmatized and at one point in time it had to be handled through isolation. The most recent cases of leprosy have actually been linked to the armadillos. This armored and endemic creature has been said to be the main cause of the disease to people who have actually come into contact with it.

The armadillos are able to host leprosy bacillus. This creature has been linked to human leprosy cases officially. Therefore, we can say that armadillos can actually transmit leprosy to people. When tested, the exact strain of leprosy as that found in the armadillos was detected.

What makes the animal unique as a carrier?
There are some factors that make the animal such an ideal carrier of the disease. The most likely reasons are the body temperature of the animal as well as the nature of the disease which is very fragile. Leprosy is so fragile and this means that it actually dies so quickly when outside the body. It doesn't grow so easily under lab conditions.

The body temperature of an armadillos is around 90 degrees. There is a hypothesis suggesting that the animal actually offers a goldilocks condition for the disease to prosper. It is neither too hot nor too cold. The bacterial transmissions to humans occur when the animal is eaten or handled.

Leprosy is clinically referred to as Hansen's disease and it affects about 250,000 people each year. 95 percent of the population is also genetically unsusceptible to the contraction of the illness. It is also a disease that can be treatable and it isn't as contagious as was the belief in the past.

The risk of getting leprosy from armadillos is actually quite low for the humans. The nine banded armadillos is the only one that actually carries the disease as far as research is concerned. You are more likely to get the disease from another human than an armadillos. There is also the belief that humans are actually the ones that transmitted the illness to the armadillos around half a century ago.

Even if armadillos are not known as cute and cuddly creatures, there is even more reason to avoid them because they are able to transmit leprosy to humans. It has been confirmed that at least a third of the leprosy cases that are found in the United States are the result of contact with the armadillos that have already been infected. The cases are more in the places where people eat, skin or hunt the armadillos. Leprosy is also called Hansen's disease, and it is a disease that has been around for hundreds of years. The disease now can be identified faster, and it should be treated using antibiotics. However, many people are not able to recognize the skin lesions, and it is hard for them since they can suffer nerve damage for a long period. The doctors may also fail to consider the possibility of leprosy for the people who have not travelled outside of the country.

Armadillos are the other animals that are known to host leprosy bacillus besides humans. The armadillos have been found to have the same strain of the disease as humans. The bacteria that cause leprosy cannot survive too long outside of the body, and the armadillos are known to be the only other host of the leprosy. It can be transmitted to humans through eating or handling of the animals. The risk of getting leprosy from the armadillos is still low, especially since the nine-banded armadillos are the only ones known to have the disease. Most cases of people who suffer from the disease are people who get it when they have travelled outside of the country where people more commonly suffer from it. However, according to the research, the armadillos also contracted leprosy from men around 500 years ago. However, it is believed that these animals are not able to live for a long time after they have been affected by the symptoms of the diseases. It is easy to prevent contamination through avoiding contact with these critters. People should not eat, skin or hunt the armadillos. Read more about What Are Some Of The Symptoms Of A Sick Armadillo?

Go back to the How to Get Rid of Armadillos home page. You can also read my articles on: how to kill an armadillo, how to trap an armadillo, armadillo under the shed, armadillo poison, Are armadillos dangerous to pets

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