(TheRedWire.com) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found an increase in leprosy cases in central Florida, according to a research letter.
The letter’s authors have pointed out that there has been a surge in cases of leprosy in the state that don’t follow the traditional risk factors. They added that the available evidence points toward leprosy becoming endemic in the Southeastern United States.
They added that travel to Florida should be one of the questions considered when tracing leprosy in any other state. In the last ten years, the total number of leprosy cases has doubled. In 2020 there were 159 cases of Leprosy, with close to one-fifth of those coming from Florida. Within Florida, 81 percent of leprosy cases were reported in Central Florida, according to the National Hansen’s Disease Program.
The letter pointed out that in Florida, in particular, many leprosy cases do not show any evidence of traditional risk factors or zoonotic exposure. In one specific case, a 54-year-old Florida man without any risk factors contracted lepromatous leprosy. This is one of the three types of leprosy, and those infected by it normally suffer from lesions and sores. The Cleveland Clinic has also noted that this is a more contagious disease.
During the testing process, the man stated that he had not traveled domestically or abroad, had not been exposed to armadillos, or had no contact with someone with leprosy or migrants from leprosy-endemic countries.
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