Eight counties reported cases with Brevard and Volusia reporting five cases each. Broward, Collier, Miami-Dade, Osceola, Pasco and Polk counties reported one case each.

Image/cherylholt via pixabay
“The armadillos in Florida are Nine Banded Armadillos. They are not native to Florida, but now they thrive here. They are similar in appearance to anteaters, and their most distinctive trait is their armor.” – aaanimalcontrol.com
| Image: cherylholt via pixabay

It is not noted how the patients contracted the bacterial disease.

Prior to 2015, Florida reported 2 to 12 cases annually.

Hansen’s disease, also known as leprosy, is caused by Mycobacterium leprae (M. leprae ) bacteria. The infection has also been identified in nine-banded armadillos.

Approximately 95 percent of people are resistant to infection; people who develop clinical illness can experience a wide range of clinical manifestations … Source. 

Disease precautions for hunters

American Veterinary Medical Foundation

There is an increasing awareness among hunters that there are medical risks associated with handling wildlife, and certain safety precautions should be taken.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has the following advice on certain health concerns linked to hunting, both in North America and in other areas of the world.

This document is by no means intended to discourage people from hunting; instead, it is intended to inform hunters of the risks they face and steps they can take to reduce those risks.

Hunters and their dogs can be exposed to infectious diseases not only from infected animals, but also via insect vectors and contaminated soil and water.

Diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans, either through direct contact with the animal or a contaminated surface or water, through ingestion of animal products (including meat and milk) or through insect transmission from an animal are called zoonotic (pronounced ZO-oh-NOT-ik or zoo-NOT-ik) diseases.

Insects such as mosquitoes, flies, or fleas, as well as arachnids such as ticks and fleas, serve as vectors, capable of transmitting infection from an infected animal to another animal or a person.

Protecting Hunters from Risk: Some Common Sense Guidelines

  • Avoid hunting if you are feeling ill. People are more prone to disease if their immune systems are weakened by other illnesses or conditions.
  • Take precautions to minimize insect bites.
  • Do not handle or eat wild game or fowl that appeared ill or were acting in an abnormal manner before they were killed.
  • Do not eat, drink or smoke while cleaning wild fowl or game.
  • Always protect your hands with gloves (heavy rubber, latex, or nitrile) when field dressing wild game or fowl.
  • Do not use the same utensils to clean different species. Read more.