Beware! Texans Are Being Warned About A Potentially Deadly ‘Medieval’ Disease Making a Comeback
What ever happened to chickenpox in Texas? I feel like one day chickenpox just stopped being a major thing and part of the conversation. When I was growing up, everyone caught the chickenpox. I don’t care if you had your shots or not. As a matter of fact, you might’ve gotten chickenpox twice. Maybe the vaccine's working.
I don't want to see chickenpox make a comeback, by the way. I also don't want to see another disease make a comeback, but one man in Texas reportedly managed to get it, and now I'm a little freaked out.
A MEDIEVAL DISEASE IS STILL AROUND IN TEXAS, AND YOU'VE HEARD OF IT BEFORE
Ever heard someone who everyone's avoiding say they feel like a leper? Well, that saying didn't come from nowhere.
According to The US Sun, a Texas doctor was recently shocked to have to diagnose a man with leprosy.
The patient reportedly had what appeared to be a bad rash, and had visited a dermatologist for at least three months before clue like numbing and tingling in patches of his skin pointed to a disease that, while rare, is one all of have heard of and been paranoid about since we were kids.
Remember your mama telling you not to pet or pick up an armadillo because you'd get leprosy? It turns out it's actually rare that it happens, but it's not impossible. What I'm getting at though is that the idea of getting leprosy was enough to strike terror into your heart, but what exactly is it?
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF THIS POTENTIALLY DEADLY DISEASE?
Leprosy, also known as Hansen's Disease, is caused by a type of bacteria called Mycobacterium leprae. According to the CDC, extreme cases can result in blindness, paralysis of the muscles (mostly in hands and feet), loss of eyebrows and eye lashes, and enlarged nerves, burning sensations in your skin, and disfigured fingers and toes, among other less-than-fun symptoms.
The symptoms of leprosy aren't usually themselves fatal, but left untreated it could lead to organ failure in severe cases. However, the most commonly fatal complication is the numbness of limbs, which can lead to other infections going undetected and spreading.
IT'S NOT ALL BAD NEWS
It's not all doom and gloom, though. Leprosy was once a disease that caused most sufferers to be outcasts, but the CDC reports that it's now actually rare, with less than 200 cases reported each year. It's also treatable, especially when caught early.
Antibiotics can kill the bacteria that cause leprosy, but there's no treatment to reverse the damage done to your body, so it's important that it's diagnosed early and treated quickly.
It's also not as easy to catch as you were scared into thinking as a kid. It requires prolonged exposure to someone who's been infected for a few months and hasn't sought treatment. It's most commonly passed from one human being to another via droplets when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes.
FLORIDA HAS IT WORSE THAN US
While the idea of someone being diagnosed with leprosy in Texas is kinda scary, it could be worse.
The University of Miami News reports that Central Florida has seen a currently inexplicable rise in cases of leprosy - actually accounting for one-fifth of current cases in the U.S.
However, you should still be careful and see a doctor if you have any symptoms that may point to leprosy. Yahoo News reports that while Florida may have the highest number of cases reported in recent years, Texas still ranks pretty high.
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