Here’s an odd story from last week’s i paper:
“Red squirrels in the UK and Ireland carry strains of leprosy similar to those that have afflicted disability and disfigurement on humans for centuries, a study has shown.
Experts stress the chances of catching the disease from a squirrel are extremely low.
Scientists tested DNA samples from 25 red squirrels on Brownsea Island, Dorset, and found every one was infected with a strain of leprosy bacteria similar to that recovered from the skeleton of a leprosy victim buried 730 years ago in Winchester – just 43 miles away.
Other red squirrels from Scotland Ireland and the Isle of Wight were carrying another kind of leprosy bacteria closely related to a virulent form of human leprosy endemic in Mexico and the Caribbean.”
I had no idea leprosy existed in the Americas. The bacteria is a very slow growing so long exposure to it seems to be required to contract it.