Did you know that 9 cases of leprosy were reported across Florida this year alone? And the cause is one innocent animal that you’d never suspect.
In Florida, residents are being warned to avoid contact with armadillos because they are the reported cause of the rise in leprosy cases throughout the state this year.
On average Florida has about 10 cases of leprosy or Hansen’s disease each year. But this year, the amount of cases is extremely high.
Armadillos are common around the state included wooded areas. Residents are being warned to stay away from these critters because they’re naturally infected with bacterial diseases.
The CDC says it may be a low chance of contracting a disease from the armadillo, Florida residents would be best to stay away.
“Although the mode of transmission of Hansen’s disease is not clearly defined, most investigators believe that (Hansen’s) is usually spread person-to-person in respiratory droplets following extended close contact with an infected person, such as living in the same household,” Department of Health deputy press secretary Brad Dalton said, according to USA Today.
“Extended close contact with infected armadillos may also pose exposure risk to (Hansen’s),” Dalton added. “For many cases, the exposure causing the infection is unknown because it can take months or years for illness to develop. Generally, you don’t want to be playing with wild animals anyway.”
Have you seen an armadillos recently? Do you feel like your family is at risk?
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