Armadillos are the only animal besides humans that carry leprosy. Leprosy is a disease that causes skin sores, muscle weakness and nerve damage in the extremities, the upper respiratory tract and the lining of the nose.
Humans rarely contract leprosy from armadillos. In most reported cases, the infected human had killed or eaten an armadillo, or could have come into contact with them via gardening soil where armadillos burrow.
Approximately 150 people contract leprosy in the United States each year. About 95 percent of humans are now naturally immune to leoprosy.The earliest record of leprosy is 600 B.C., making it one of the oldest known diseases.