Reported cases of leprosy, or Hansen's disease
, are higher than normal in Florida this year, and experts are blaming armadillos.
On average, the state of Florida sees 10 cases of leprosy a year. So far in 2015, 9 cases of leprosy have already been confirmed
in Florida, as reported by WJAX.
According to the CDC
, armadillos are naturally infected with leprosy and they're the only animals known to carry the disease, which is a bacterial infection that affects the nerves, respiratory tract, skin, and eyes.
Leprosy is difficult to detect because the infection can lay dormant for 5 to 20 years.
Leprosy is easily treated with antibiotics
, however you should still take extra precautions next time you're considering petting one of these invasive little guys
, they're known to spit at humans.