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Re: Armadillos/leprosy


Leprosy is now called Hanson's disease in research, etc. There is treatment
to clear the bacteria from the body. I heard an interesting reference to it
a few days ago. Seems the rotting flesh, loss of body parts etc. associated
with the disease is not directly caused by the bacteria. Loss of pain
sensation from nerve damage is the real culprit. Without pain to let the
person know they have a cut or even a broken bone, the damaged area easily
becomes infected and that secondary infection is the cause of the terrible
disfiguring that caused such horror of the disease.
----- Original Message -----
From: "David Franzman" <dfranzma@pacbell.net>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 2004 8:33 PM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Armadillos/leprosy


> Thanks for that clarification Cathy but it leads me to another question
> about leprosy.  We know of the leper colonies of Hawaii...I think it was
> Molokai...but we never hear of the disease anymore at least I don't.  Is
it
> now treatable and why don't we hear of it?
>
> DF
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Cathy Carpenter" <cathy.c@insightbb.com>
> To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
> Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 2004 3:13 PM
> Subject: Re: [CHAT] Armadillos
>
>
> > Just had to set the record straight on armadillos and leprosy. Yes,
> > armadillos, because of their low body temperature, have been used to
> > culture Mycobacterium leprae (Leprosy is caused by a bacterium, related
to
> > the bacteria that causes tuberculosis, not a virus). Because the
bacterium
> > has not been able to be grown in artificial culture, the sole source of
> > the germ for study has been the nine banded armadillo (and mice).  Yes
> > there has been a lot of "buzz" on the possible transmission of the
> > bacterium from the armadillo to humans, but to my knowledge, the only
> > documented transmission has been related to oral consumption of
> > undercooked armadillo meat. Leprosy, despite its horrendous biblical
> > reputation (most of which was not related to the disease), is very
> > difficult to contract. There is documented evidence that people have
lived
> > for years in close proximity (ie. marriage) to people with the disease
and
> > have never "caught" it. The lowly nine banded armadillo should be
> > recipient of our gratitude rather than our prejudice...at least as far
as
> > health research is concerned.
> > Cathy
> > On Tuesday, November 16, 2004, at 09:35 AM, Jesse Bell wrote:
> >
> >> I truly do not like armadillos. Did you know they carry the leprosy
> >> virus? And they do jump...and squeak...and they don't see well at night
> >> (that's why you see so many dead ones on the road). When I chased one
> >> with a broom (in New Orleans) and yelled at it...it jumped up and came
> >> running after me. I screamed and ran. Ick. Hate 'em. The short one is
> >> braver than me..that's for sure.
> >
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