6 Diseases Commonly Carried by Armadillos

Distinguished by their armor-like shell, armadillos frequently appear innocuous. Even though that might be the case, these animals frequently carry dangerous diseases. It’s advisable to leave an armadillo alone if you come across one in the wild. What six illnesses do armadillos typically carry?

Even though they are not aggressive, a lot of the infections are contracted by coming into contact with or being in close proximity to human excrement. Consequently, it’s imperative that you avoid them and maintain your distance. We’ll introduce you to the six diseases that armadillos typically carry, along with their symptoms, below.

1: Hansen’s Disease (Leprosy)

Thus, are armadillos harmful?Leprosy, also referred to as Hansen’s disease, is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae.It is a highly transmissible illness that can spread from one individual to another. This bacteria may be naturally present in armadillos that are native to the southern United States. Even if there is little chance of getting it, infection is still a possibility.

Paralysis, lesions, and discolored skin patches are signs of Hansen’s disease. Hand or foot deformities are another typical sign. Untreated blindness is a possibility.

Approximately 15–25% of Florida’s armadillos are home to Mycobacterium leprae germs. The bacteria can also be carried by none-banded armadillos (Dasypous novemcinctus), which are found in Georgia, Texas, Louisiana, and Alabama.

2: Leptospirosis

A bacterial ailment called leptospirosis can afflict both people and animals. Contact with anything contaminated with Leptospira can spread the highly dangerous bacteria. Most of the time, urine from people or animals can spread the infection. Any object that comes into contact with urine can be impacted, as well as soil and water. Leptospira bacteria can survive for three months or more outside of the body.

Leptospirosis symptoms include shaking, soreness in the muscles, and a high temperature. People may also experience vomiting, frequent urination, and thirst. The bacteria can cause mucous membranes, jaundice, and skin that becomes yellow if left untreated. In severe situations, it can also result in meningitis, liver and renal failure, and breathing problems.

3: Salmonella

Salmonella germs, which may infect people and other animals, can also be carried by armadillos. The excrement of an armadillo can spread the bacterial illness to other people. When even a small portion of it comes into contact with other people, the bacteria can spread. Salmonella is very contagious and can remain on surfaces for up to 32 hours.

Salmonella frequently causes vomiting, fever, diarrhea, and nausea. However, 12 to 72 hours after the first contact, the symptoms usually get worse and become more noticeable. The bacteria can result in severe dehydration and even fatal consequences if treatment is not received.

4: Histoplasmosis

A fungal infection known as histoplasmosis is acquired by coming into touch with the Histoplasma capsulatum bacteria. These bacteria are spread by armadillos through their excrement, which grows in the soil. Dogs and cats are more vulnerable to histoplasmosis infections, however most animals are not. Furthermore, inhaling minute fungus spores in the air or coming into contact with contaminated excrement can also cause humans to contract histoplasmosis.

Fever, chills, and headaches are typical flu-like symptoms of histoplasmosis. These symptoms, which are usually mild, start to show up three to seventeen days after the fungus bacterium is exposed. After a few weeks, symptoms typically go away on their own. The majority of people will recover without medical intervention, but those with weakened immune systems run the risk of dying from the germs.

5: Rabies

A virus that targets the central nervous system causes rabies. It is quite uncommon, but is frequently spread via bites. Although they are not violent by nature, armadillos can get scared if they feel threatened or mistreated. While some armadillos do carry the rabies virus, the majority do not.

Rabies symptoms, which include flu-like symptoms, fever, aggressiveness, headaches, and weakness, are comparable to those of histoplasmosis. Where the human or animal has been bitten, there could also be a prickling and itchy feeling. Usually, the symptoms remain for a few days before becoming worse and manifesting as agitation, anxiety, disorientation, and cerebral malfunction. Rapid treatment is necessary because untreated rabies is invariably lethal.

6: Tapeworms

Animal feces include parasites called tapeworms. In their excrement, armadillos frequently contain tapeworms that humans and other animals might contract from them. One must either touch or consume the excrement to contract tapeworms. Thus, the likelihood of them infecting other animals is higher.

An upset stomach, loose feces, weight loss, and hunger pains are all signs of tapeworms. Treatment must begin right once because tapeworms can seriously harm the body’s organs. They can harm the liver, eyes, heart, and brain while remaining inside the host body for up to 30 years.

Overview of Six Diseases Commonly Carried By Armadillos

Hansen’s Disease