ARMADILLOS SPREADING LEPROSY IN FLORIDA

Florida health officials say they’ve seen nine cases of leprosy in recent weeks, a dramatic uptick to the state’s usual count at this time of year and something doctors are attributing to the patients’ exposure to armadillos. On an average year, Florida sees about 10 leprosy diagnoses and the nation, about 100. “It’s a surprise to most people that leprosy is still in the United States,” said Leisha Nolen, a doctor and epidemic intelligence service officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaking of the disease most know as a biblical affliction, the Daily Beast reported. “Doctors would be aware that leprosy is still present. It’s rare … but it would be tragic if they miss it.” The disease is most common in Texas and Louisiana, and primarily inflicts those who are exposed to armadillos.

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