"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Leprosy cases in Florida prompt CDC warning

August 1, 2023 – According to a brand new CDC study, the skin and nervous system disease leprosy is now considered endemic within the southeastern United States.

Leprosy, also often called Hansen's disease, is attributable to an infection with the bacteria M. Leprosy and could cause blindness and crippling of the hands and feet. The latest evaluation shows that the variety of leprosy cases within the U.S. has doubled prior to now decade, with one-fifth of all U.S. cases occurring in Central Florida. There were 159 cases nationwide in 2020.

The alarm was published in the present issue of the CDC Journal Emerging infectious diseases. The creator described intimately the 2022 case of a 54-year-old Florida man who had lesions on his face, arms, trunk, and feet, and in whom laboratory tests confirmed nerve involvement. The man had lived in Central Florida his entire life, worked as a landscaper, and spent loads of time outdoors. He was successfully treated with antibiotics.

Until now, health experts have attributed most cases within the U.S. to international travel or contact with armadillos. But this latest study showed that lots of the recent cases within the eastern U.S., including Georgia and central Florida, couldn't be linked to animals or international travel.

An estimated 95% of individuals have a natural immunity to leprosy, in keeping with the state-run National Leprosy (Hansen's Disease) Programme. Still, the researchers wrote in that study that healthcare providers ought to be alert to the disease when treating individuals who have traveled to Central Florida.