Walking with the Alligators

Walking with the Alligators
A Florida Alligator

July 21, 2015

Armadillo Awareness

A Nine-banded armadillo in the green swamp in Central Florida
Picture credit: http://www.birdphotos.com

On our local ABC News this morning, came a story that sent shivers down my spine, once again.
Unless you live in the Southwest or Florida, you may have never heard of, or seen an Armadillo.
The images on TV this morning were both familiar and disturbing, they were of Armadillos, the affected victims,along with the fact that there have been 9 new cases of Leprosy reported here in the Orlando area in just the past six months.
Normal they said, was 10 per year, so think we may be in trouble here…
I have known about this disease since 1990, when we went on Vacation to Oahu.
We had asked about going over to Molokai and several people at our Hotel said, that it once was the Island of Lepers, and we probably should not go.
Not knowing anything about the disease or the history of the Island, we decided not to go.
It seemed that at that time in 1990, the stigma had remained there, somewhat, although the disease was not officially any longer considered a threat.
In fact, it had been Globally eradicated by that time, it had been reported.
Recently I wrote about the wonderful Priest, Father Damien, who went to Molokai and devoted his life to caring for those afflicted with Leprosy before eventually succumbing to the disease:https://tahtonka.wordpress.com/2014/07/06/father-damien-the-apostle-of-the-lepers/
Leprosy is transferred by bacteria, and at the present time, only two life forms carry it, Humans and Armadillos.
I learned today, that when Armadillos came to this Continent, they did not carry the disease, from which I would deduce, that we gave it to them.
We are still in the process of questioning, whether or not pets can contract the disease from being on the same land as Armadillos.
Have made calls to the CDC and several other agencies this morning, as well as to the Dr. mentioned in the story.
When conclusive feedback is received, it will be put in another posting, as I do not wish to delay this vital/critical information for those of you who are living in this area,  as we are, with Armadillos, while waiting…
Places to learn more:

Yes, You Can Get Leprosy From an Armadillo
Floridians urged to avoid leprosy-infected armadillos
Experts warn Floridians to steer clear of armadillos to avoid leprosy exposure
Leprosy cases on rise in Florida


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