[Microbiologist Richard W.] Truman added that [knowing leprosy can be passed from armadillos to humans] might help persuade people living near armadillos — their range extends from Texas to the Carolinas — to avoid contact with the animals. That means refraining from touching, playing with and — yes — eating the critters, which are feted at armadillo festivals, cheered on at armadillo races and chased down during armadillo hunts.Another killjoy, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health, adds, "You shoot an armadillo and try to skin it — that's the worst thing you could do."
Well, there go my summer vacation plans!
But wait... there's more about leprosy:
The disease has long been misunderstood and those who contracted it were often shunned. Fear of its spread led some countries to quarantine people. False stories about fingers and toes falling off added to the stigma.Damn, that ruins one of my favorite tasteless jokes.