There are no armadillos in Western North Carolina (that I know of). But since many of you will travel elsewhere in the country and world I must mention this important bit of news. AVOID ARMADILLOS. Armadillos can transmit Hansen’s Disease—also known as leprosy— to humans. A October 2011 story highlighted this fact. A man had hunted armadillos as a teenager. Later in life his immune system became compromised and he developed lesions caused by Mycobacterium leprae bacteria. Click here to read the entire story from everydayhealth.com. A doctor in the story is quoted as saying that this is one skin disease that does not respond to treatment.
Click here to read the New York Times story on the same event. This article reports that the little armored creatures are North Carolina, but doesn’t say which area. It also discusses medical treatment which is effective in many cases. Click here to read the reader comments on the article, which are almost as interesting as the article.
Click here to read an L.A. Times article. This article discusses the use of armadillos in the search for a vaccine for Hansen’s disease.
Click here to read the story in the Scientific American about the subject. Author Katherine Harmon quotes dermatologist John Abide of Greenville, Mississippi as saying that if his car ran over an armadillo he would wash it off.
Well, that’s about it. I just wanted to emphasize the danger presented by armadillos. Please avoid them and become educated about this public health threat. Since the armadillo’s range is expanding it is a subject we need to learn more about.