Don’t Want Leprosy? Don’t Hunt Or Eat An Armadillo

Seemingly out of the blue, CASH has been fielding inquiries about the likelihood of contracting leprosy from handling or being in close proximity to an armadillo. You heard right – I did a little research into it and decided to share what I gleaned with readers of the Courier.

Researchers were able to confirm that about a third of confirmed U.S. leprosy cases each year are concentrated in Louisiana and Texas, and most of those result from contact associated with hunting, skinning or eating armadillos.

Doctor Anthony Fauci from the National Institutes of Health believes that when it comes to contracting leprosy, hunters are taking unnecessary risks. “It doesn’t mean people need to run away from armadillos,” said Dr. Fauci. “You shoot an armadillo and try to skin it — that’s the worst thing you could do.”

Unless you’re an armadillo hunter you don’t have much to worry about.

Richard Truman, Ph.D., the chief of microbiological research at the National Hansen’s Disease Program, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana says that “Leprosy is a rare disease and will remain a rare disease” because approximately 95% of people are naturally immune and sufferers are no longer infectious after as little as 2 weeks of treatment with antibiotics, though it takes a one- to two-year regimen with three different drugs to completely cure the disease.


Joe Miele is President of the Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting.


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Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting / C.A.S.H.
P.O. Box 562
New Paltz, NY 12561