Thursday, 23 July 2015

Leprosy breaks out in Florida

Leprosy cases in Florida is getting higher. Experts believe the spike is because people are coming in touch with armadillos. Florida typically sees 2 to 12 cases of leprosy a year, but according to Florida Department of Health, so far there have been 9 cases in 2015.  Three weeks ago the latest cases were diagnosed in Flagler county.

Read more after the cut....

The CDS says it is possible to contract leprosy through contact with armadillos but it is unlikely. Some armadillos, with leathery armor are naturally infected with leprosy also known as Hansen's disease, according to the Centers or Disease control and Prevention. Armadillos are known to carry the disease and that can cause skin and nerve damage.

According to Dr. Sunil Joshi, president elect of the Duval County Medical Society in Florida, leprosy is a rare disease and there are 50 to 100 cases in the United States every year. Joshi said leprosy like tuberculosis is spread through coughing and sneezing, but 95 % of the human population is immune to the disease.

He also said there is a clear reason why this is happening in Florida. ''New homes are being developed and we are tearing down armadillos' homes in the process. Now these creatures are coming out in the daytime, and the people who are getting exposed are those working outside.'' If left untreated it can become life threatening.

Experts are urging Floridians to use caution and not to touch small, cat sized creatures. According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, armadillos are common in Florida and found across most of the state. This is their breeding season so its not unusual to see them during the daytime.


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