Friday, April 29, 2011

Armadillos linked to leprosy in humans

Several years ago, an 81-year-old woman with a raised patch of dry skin on her arm visited Mississippi dermatologist John Abide, M.D.

Although the lesion looked only slightly abnormal, a series of lab tests revealed that it was a symptom of leprosy.

"I thought, 'Leprosy, are you kidding me?'" says Abide, whose practice is in Greenville. His surprise was understandable.

Each year only about 150 people in the U.S. are infected with leprosy, a bacterial disease that can lead to nerve damage and disfigurement. In most cases, people are infected after being exposed to saliva from an infected person, usually while traveling to parts of the world, such as Africa and Asia, where the disease is more prevalent.

But Abide's patient didn't fit this description. Full article.

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