In February, Cecil answered a question about whether armadillos carried leprosy. It seems to contain a few errors that would best be rectified by sending a couple of his army of researchers to Bergen in Norway (send them after Easter when the weather improves). Bergen contains the world’s leprosy museum. Visiting this delightful attraction reveals that the Norwegians knew about the armadillo/leprosy connection in the nineteenth century. And the waxworks are definitely interesting, but maybe not for the kids.
the original column is at:
Wonder if they have a lunch room at that museum.
Does anyone remember the line from “Spinal Tap” - “We’ve got armadillos in our trousers” what are they referring to ???
They do, but the waitress would just as soon you didn’t leave a tip.
Livin’ on Tums, Vitamin E and Rogaine
Okay, I must share this. I would post this elsewhere, but it regards leprosy, so I feel it relevant to this discussion.
I saw a documentary examining leprosy a while back. All the catchy jokes aside, leprosy is not a disease that rots the skin off.
Cecil remarks that it is a bacterium, but does not disclose the nature of what it does. Leprosy is a nervous system disorder. It effects the nerves that sense pain, and I think pressure as well.
So why does everyone associate leprosy with disfigurement and dead tissue? Because leprosy victims are prone to damaging themselves since they cannot feel pain. If you can’t feel pain, you don’t know the stove is hot, and keep holding that pan as it scorches your hand. I wondered what that smell was.
So what causes the rotting skin is not directly the infection, but the side effect of the patients not sensing pain, and thus causing damage to the skin.
Okay, back to the tacky puns.
Stephan Donaldson’s trilogy about Thomas Covenant, “Lord Foul’s Bane”, “The IllEarth War” and the other I do not remember at the moment, uses a man with leprosy as the protaganist.
It goes to great lengths describing the mental discipline required to prevent body damage. (I believe Donaldson’s father was a doctor that treated lepers, so he had direct knowledge.)
Ah the joys of cruising Texas byways and seeing all the lepers lying feet up and cracked open . “Tacky puns”? Why, thanks to tacks lepers can change their parts.
“Pardon me while I have a strange interlude.”-Marx
The armadillo’s range has extended as far north as Tennessee. One was killed on a highway in my county as recently as 7/99.
No, we didn’t eat the roadkill.
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This has been a message from the Illuminated Committee To Save The Jackalope. Fnord.
It’s still not proved if armadillos transmit the leprosy, but a lot of specialists believe that it’s true. I think that it’s just a kind of medieval misconception. People that day put forward hundreds of unreasonable hypothesis. You can learn more about leprosy causes and history at this site.
I think this is the oldest thread I have ever seen revived. Wow.