Last month (September 2016), 2 children at Indian Hills Elementary School in Riverside, CA were reported to have Hansen’s Disease, AKA Leprosy.
This illness is caused by mycobacteria that can be transmitted through contact with armadillos or other people infected with leprosy. It can be treated with a rather long course (6-12 months) of several antibiotics used in combination.
Symptoms include rash, numbness/tingling, pain and muscle weakness.
How can leprosy be prevented?
- We have a lot of armadillos in Texas, even our big city of Houston! Armadillos are generally nocturnal and it would be unusual for your child to actually play directly with an armadillo, but if you happen to come around one, don’t try to pet it.
- In addition, if you do find armadillo burrow holes in your yard, you and your children should wear garden gloves when digging and working in the yard. After you finish in the yard, wash your hands.
- Most adults around the world, however, might face no risk at all. That’s because evidence shows that 95% of all adults are naturally unable to get the disease, even if they’re exposed to the bacteria that causes it.
Read more at the CDC website: