Besides humans, nine-banded armadillos are the only animals that can carry M. Leprae, the bacteria that causes leprosy. Several human cases of the disease linked with the pests have been reported in Texas, though these animals have also tested positive for M. Leprae in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s Disease, is a bacterial disease. The leprosy bacillus usually inhabits the cooler extremities of the human body (hands, ears, nose). It’s theorized that the armadillo can carry it because of yet another fascinating armadillo trait: low body temperature.
Do armadillos carry leprosy virus?
While they can host parasitic worms and even rabies on rare occasions, most of the conversation surrounding armadillo diseases is about leprosy. Besides humans, nine-banded armadillos are the only animals that can carry M. Leprae, the bacteria that causes leprosy .
By Mary Guiden An international team led by researchers at Colorado State University has found that human contact with wild armadillos — including eating the meat — has contributed to extremely high infection rates of a pathogen that can cause leprosy in Pará, Brazil.
Can you get leprosy from a casual contact?
Prolonged, close contact with someone with untreated leprosy over many months is needed to catch the disease .
Can armadillos spread diseases to humans?
And as for armadillos—the risk of transmission to humans is low. Only the nine-banded armadillo is known to carry the disease . And, most people in the U. Who come down with the chronic bacterial disease get it from other people while traveling outside the country. And it looks like armadillos are the real victims here.
And these days, it is highly treatable and not nearly as contagious as once believed. And as for armadillos— the risk of transmission to humans is low . Only the nine-banded armadillo is known to carry the disease.
When I was writing we ran into the query “Can armadillos survive rabies?”.
Rabies is another slow-acting but potentially fatal armadillo disease. The virus often takes a long time to display symptoms, such as fever and agitation, but survival is rare once they have emerged. Both leprosy and rabies are curable when caught and treated early.
Is it OK to eat armadillos?
And, of course, they advise not to go hunting, skinning or eating them ( which is a rule the armadillos would probably appreciate, too) .