Squirrels Carrying More than Nuts

The world reports about 200,000 new leprosy cases, mostly in India and Brazil … but the disease, thought long-eradicated from Europe, has popped up in a surprising spot: British red squirrels.
 
Researchers led by Stewart Cole of the Global Health Institute at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology discovered that the rodents still harbor the same strain of leprosy bacteria that caused human disease in the Middle Ages.
 
It’s a lesson in disease eradication: Cole warns that even when we think a disease is gone, after it disappears from people, it might be out there somewhere.  “It could be sitting on a tree, right outside your window,” Michaeleen Doucleff writes.
NPR Goats and Soda

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