Feral armadillos and possibly nonhuman primates are known to carry Mycobacterium leprae. However, Mycobacterium leprae transmission from animals to humans has only been confirmed in a couple of leprosy cases.
Mycobacterium leprae statistics from 2002 include:
- The number of new cases of leprosy detected worldwide was 763,917
- 96 cases occurring in the United States were reported to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- The World Health Organization (WHO) listed Brazil, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Nepal as having 90 percent of cases.
Worldwide, 1 to 2 million people are permanently disabled because of leprosy. Mycobacterium leprae infections can occur at any age, but cases of leprosy under age 1 are rare. However, up to 20 percent of leprosy cases occur before the age of 10. In children, leprosy occurs equally in males and females; in adults, leprosy is twice as common in males as females.