Yes, to everyone’s surprise leprosy is still around the corner. Florida lately has seen nine leprosy cases so far this year, but typically only sees an average of four annually, according to the Florida Department of Health. The experts however state that the reason behind this may be… Armadillos.
As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some armadillos are naturally infected with leprosy. The small animals are naturally nocturnal but are now however in their breeding season, according to the University of Florida. As a result of this, they’re out more during the day now, increasing the possibility of coming into contact with humans. There are different age groups, people older than 30 who are more likely to contract leprosy, and surprisingly men are at a greater risk than women in this scenario.
The CDC reports state that 95% of adults are naturally unable to have the disease even If they are exposed to it around them.
Florida however, sees 2 to 12 cases of leprosy a year, but so far there have been nine cases in total in 2015, according to the Florida Department of Health. In the year 2010, there were more than 220,000 cases of leprosy detected worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. But Joshi stated that the disease is typically found in different parts of Africa and Southeast Asia, where the population density is higher, and the spread of infection is due to human-to-human contact.
The latest case was diagnosed in Flagler County three weeks ago. Leprosy is a rare disease, and on average there are normally 50 to 100 cases in the United States every year, according to Dr. Sunil Joshi, president-elect of the Duval County Medical Society in Florida. Dr. Sunil Joshi further explains that leprosy, much like tuberculosis, is spread through coughing and sneezing, but 95% of the human population is immune to the disease.
Dr.Joshi has stated that new homes are being developed and clearly the armadillos’ homes are being destroyed in the process. Armadillos are very common in Florida and are usually found across most of the state, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.