Three leprosy cases confirmed in Florida

February 27, 2015 11:09 PM

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Three leprosy cases confirmed in Florida

Health officials in Florida report that in the last five months, three people in Volusia County have been diagnosed with leprosy. Two of the cases are thought to be linked to recent contact with nine-banded armadillos. The leathery animal is suspected to be a carrier of the virus in the southern U.S., according to a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2011 that analyzed the genomes of one wild armadillo and three U.S. leprosy patients.

Leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease, is a rare condition caused by the bacteria mycobacterium lepra. While a majority of humans are not susceptible to the virus, it's transmitted through droplets from the nose, mouth and through close contact with someone who is sick but has not been medically t...

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