Leprosy

The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted - Mother Teresa

Leprosy

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Humans gave leprosy to armadillos. Now they are giving it back to us


Leprosy is an ancient disease, the oldest disease known to be associated with humans, with evidence of characteristic bone pitting and deformities found in burial sites in India as far back as 2000 BC.

It’s thus only natural that many might think the disease is a relic of the past. My recent studies in a Brazilian state where the disease is prevalent shows that leprosy is closer to us than we might think, however. The disease is growing in armadillos. And while these animals are not exactly the cuddly type to which humans are drawn, armadillo-to-human contact is spreading. And, when the species do interact, armadillos are giving leprosy back.

An unsightly…

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Last Updated : Saturday, August 1, 2020