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Does Eating Armadillo Lead to Leprosy

There's this study that has been going around lately, stating that armadillos can transmit leprosy to humans, and that they have in fact been documented to have done so, and that one of the leading causes of leprosy transmission to people is from eating these animals. Yes, people do eat armadillos, I've heard of it several times. I've travelled to the south, where there's a charming mix of armadillos, who have a southern range, and folk who like to shoot and eat critters. So yup, the armadillo has found its way onto the dinner plate, and apparently in some rare cases, it has transmitted leprosy.



Dave: I'm a freelance journalist in Washington State, working on a quick-turnaround article about armadillos and leprosy. I loved your commentary on your blog, and would like to refer to your comment and your blog in my piece. I think you said it all... but I would welcome any further thoughts on the subject. And, by the way, what a terrific blog and website!

Thanks. I'm actually in Seattle right now. Are you posting an article on Food and diet safety news ? Do you need any armadillo photos for your article? I have a lot on my website.

Wow, what a snappy response! I'm 2 hours north of Seattle, in Port Townsend. And, yup, I'm writing for food and diet safety news, though I'll try to find one or more other markets. And your insights, and attitude, are perfect for the story. I am, however, a tad confused. You are Dave S, right? And your business is based in Orlando? Are you the Dave pictured holding a dillo on the site? And who is Dave L, the Trapper Guy? An alter ego? Actually, maybe we could both save some time and effort with a brief phone conversation? And thanks much for getting back to me.

I am David S. That's me in the photo, in all the photos. I ran my business in Orlando for many years, but recently moved to Seattle. Dave L is a different trapper, based out of Tampa. I gave him a link on that page, because he once supplied me with an armadillo photograph. Speaking of that, would you be able to cite my website as a resource for your article on food and diet safety news? As stated, I'm happy to share any of my photos / text with you.

Ross, Hey, I checked out your article. Very nice! Have a great day, David

David: I've been committing journalism for 40 years, and this was a classic case of a story that has to be told right -- pass along some important information without promoting panic about something that is interesting, but very low risk and not really frightening. To do that, you need to find one or more sources who (a) knows what he/she is talking about (b) can talk about it in terms understandable to me and the rest of the world and hopefully (c) has a sense of humor. Your website suggested you were that person. And you were. Thanks very much for getting back to me.

Read about: What Diseases Do Armadillos Carry?
A Look At The Armadillo's Skin And Armor
How Did Armadillos Get Into North America?

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