Florida health officials have found an association between the three leprosy cases reported in the east coast and interaction with armadillos.
The health officials have confirmed that all the three leprosy cases reported since November last year occurred in Volusia County of Florida.
Volusia County, which has nearly 500,000 population, is quite a popular tourist spot due to its Daytona Beach.
The health experts said that the interactions with adorable little critters, known as armadillos, could be triggering the bacterial infection among humans.
“There’s a fair amount of interaction between armadillos and people. People see armadillos in the garden, they keep them as pets, they shoot them and eat them – there’s more interaction with armadillos than you might think,” said National Hansen’s disease (Leprosy) Program director Dr. David Scollard.
Armadillos are mainly known for being the carrier of the infection, but only 9-branded armadillos’ special species.
In the United States, most leprosy cases are diagnosed in the country’s southern part, including Texas, Florida and Louisiana.
Leprosy, also called Hansen’s disease, is basically characterized by a nerve and chronic bacterial skin infection that can cause inability to feel pain. Some of its other characteristics are tough patches, laceration and growths on the skin.