Maytown, FA | A 22-year old man has contracted leprosy after family members admittedly reported to officials that the young man had frequent sexual relations with the family’s domesticated armadillo.
The young man that is being hospitalized at the Central Florida Regional Hospital is suffering from an advanced condition that doctors have determined to be Hansen’s disease, or leprosy, an affliction that has seen a dramatic revival in southern states where 9 cases have already been diagnosed in Florida alone since last October, according to the Department of Health.
Doctors interrogated family members after the disease had proliferated to the young man’s pubic area, an uncommon area of the body for the affliction to spread.
“At first glance, we tried to treat the affliction as an STD, but we soon realized our treatments were unsuccessful and the disease kept spreading more intensely until family members decided to tell us about the family animal” explains Dr. James H. Potter. “The family was afraid of legal consequences for the boy, but I’m glad they told us the entire story so that we can now treat him properly and prevent further spread of the disease” he added.
The family members intervention might have saved the man’s life, believe experts.
“Timothy always had a hard time interacting with others and making friends. He was always so keen about animals, so we decided to let him keep the animal after he had caught him last spring” admits Jane Whitestone, mother of the 22-year old man.
“He was very fond of the little critter, he would spend all his time with him, even sleeping with him at night. We knew it was a bit awkward for a 22-year old to spend so much time with an armadillo, but he looked so happy, we never said a thing” she told local reporters.
According to the Center for Disease Control, armadillos are the only animal to carry leprosy, a bacterial disease that affects the skin and nerves. The Health Resources and Services Administration has reported that there are currently about 6,500 cases of the disease in the U.S.