Armadillo's and leprosy info

Anteaters, Armadillos, Aardvarks, Tenrec, Aardwolf, ect

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Armadillo's and leprosy info

Postby TamanduaGirl » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:52 pm

Just wanted to put this here since anyone who has one will get comments about it a lot and it's good info from the comments here: https://www.facebook.com/richard.t.burr ... 0068063045

Eating undercooked armadillo can be a very small risk but it does happen. Generally, contracting leprosy from an armadillo requires an open wound on the part of the human, with sustained contact with a good large bit of blood or gore from a run over armadillo, plus the human has to be one of the 5% even susceptible, and the armadillo one of the 5% infected.

One third of the cases of Hansens Disease in America (which are damned few) are caused by contact with an infected armadillos, virtually all in Louisiana and Texas. These people either dressed armadillos that were hunted to eat, or collected fresh roadkill because the leathery shells, the skulls, and sometimes the entire taxidermed animal, have a commercial market. One patient with Hanson's Disease remembered years before that because she hated the armadillos that dug in her garden, she would smash the living hell out of them with a shovel or a brick. If you're doing that in Louisiana or Texas you still have only a slight chance of being susceptible.

No one can be infected just by playing with armadillos. However, the number of zoonotic diseases, some few even capable of causing death, that we can get from a dog or a cat, number in the hundreds!

As with most wildlife there is a chance of contracting a wide variety of infection, disease and infestations. Armadillos are no different and have some unique characteristics that may give some concern. The good news for us is that the chance of infection is very low. The bad news for armadillos is they are perfect research vehicles as they can incubate the bacteria for Hansens disease (leprosy) that can not be duplicated in a laboratory dish. Of the 150 or so people in this country that get the disease every year, most are from exposure in a foreign country.
here is the CDC info:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Armadillos and Hansen's Disease (Leprosy)
Some armadillos in the southern United States are naturally infected with Hansen's disease.
While it’s possible for you to get the disease from an armadillo, the risk is low. Most people who come into contact with armadillos are unlikely to get Hansen’s disease.
But, if you decide to see a doctor because of your contact with an armadillo, make sure you provide a complete history of armadillo contact. Your doctor can determine whether or not you have the disease. In the unlikely event that you get Hansen’s disease, your doctor can also help you get treatment.
When possible, avoid contact with armadillos, so you’ll be more certain you’re not at risk for the disease.
http://www.cdc.gov/leprosy/exposure/armadillos.html
http://www.hrsa.gov/hansensdis.../resea ... nesis.html
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Re: Armadillo's and leprosy info

Postby Trefoil » Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:43 pm

Thanks for the info Mary. What I didn't see mentioned is- can an armadillo be treated so it doesn't carry leprosy? I've always wanted on. What kind of pet do they make?
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Re: Armadillo's and leprosy info

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sun Apr 09, 2017 12:46 am

Yeah they can be treated. They were used in the research on coming up with a cure for humans so the same thing will work on them. A captive born one shouldn't have it though and only 5% of the wild. You would see skin lesions on them as a symptom.

They are nocturnal, love to dig, and run on their wheels if you give them one. If you have more than one they will happily make a nest together. This one guy has a group and they have a modified trashcan and a pile of hay. They pull all the hay into the can for a bed and all sleep in there, then he removes all the hay every day and they start all over again as daily enrichment.
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Re: Armadillo's and leprosy info

Postby Trefoil » Sun Apr 09, 2017 1:36 am

Thanks, from all the hoopla, I thought that they were carriers. Like people try to make believe that coons carry rabies.
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Re: Armadillo's and leprosy info

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:30 am

Yeah the short version of the original post is 5% of wild dillos have it and only 5% of humans are susceptible to catching it so you have a 0.0025% chance of catching it if you are handling a mangled armadillo since it's not easy to catch from casual contact and requires bodily fluids.
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