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Medicine Science

Yes, an Armadillo Can Give You Leprosy 151

sciencehabit writes "For years, scientists have speculated that armadillos can pass on leprosy to humans, and that they are behind the few dozen cases of the disease that occur in the US every year. Now, they have evidence. A genetic study published in The New England Journal of Medicine shows that US armadillos and human patients share what seems to be a unique strain of the bacterium that causes leprosy. If an armadillo's blood 'got on my tires of my car from running [the animal] over, I would wash it down,' advises one expert. 'And I would not dig in soil that has a lot of armadillo excrement.'"
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Yes, an Armadillo Can Give You Leprosy

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  • by Mojofreem ( 556489 ) on Thursday April 28, 2011 @03:57PM (#35967748)
    Leprosy is caused by a bacterial infection, and is easily cured with common antibiotics.
  • by snowgirl ( 978879 ) on Thursday April 28, 2011 @04:37PM (#35968400) Journal

    Mod parent up. Leprosy is no longer an issue. Antibiotics FTW.

    Not only this but leprosy is like the bitch version of a bacterial infection. Most of the time, you have to be predisposed to being able to acquire it anyways (or immunocompromised, but that's true with any bacteria/fungus/virus). It's basically somewhere around 10% of the population that can actually acquire leprosy... everyone else could pretty much walk hand in hand with a leper and never catch a thing.

  • by plover ( 150551 ) * on Thursday April 28, 2011 @09:29PM (#35970968) Homepage Journal

    >He's never had to change a tire in his life where he didn't have washing facilities. Or even change a tire from the looks of the message.

    I don't know about you, but when I have to change a tire, it's never in a convenient place where I can wash up. It's always out in the middle of nowhere.

    Couple this with the incredible number of times we all touch our faces per hour unconsciously, and yep, you've got a vector.


    On several occasions that I can remember when I've had to change a tire on the road, I've banged up my knuckles on something or other while loosening the lug nuts, or cut myself on some sharp bit of metal while raising the vehicle with the jack. There's reason enough to not want to have known pathogens hanging around your fenders.

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor