Armadillos have rarely been described as cute or adorable, and they’re usually not anyone’s idea of a great pet. But until recent years, these small, armored tank-like critters were thought to pose little threat to humans — other than their annoying habit of digging up yards to construct their shelters and search for food, or causing drivers to swerve to avoid running over them on the road.
This changed in 2011 when a New England Journal of Medicine article linked armadillos to the onset of leprosy in humans. Also known as Hansen’s disease, leprosy is a progressive disease primarily known for producing unsightly skin lesions on the afflicted individual’s body. Other symptoms include muscle weakness and numbness in the extremities. Leprosy was extremely prevalent during biblical times. Afflicted individuals who developed grotesque deformities resulting from secondary leprosy infections were often ostracized from society. However, it has become a relatively rare … Read More