Leprosy Persists in Los Angeles County, and Elsewhere | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Leprosy Persists in Los Angeles County, and Elsewhere

Just great! Biblical Diseases are back!

By Will Boggs MD

August 15, 2019

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease, is rarely seen in the United States, but cases continue to emerge in Los Angeles County, a new report says.

"Hansen's disease still exists, and we need to educate medical students and physicians," coauthor Dr. Maria Teresa Ochoa from Keck Medical Center of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, told Reuters Health by email.

Dr. Ochoa and colleagues identified 187 patients with the disease in a review of medical records from their leprosy clinic spanning 1973 to 2018. Most patients were Latino, originating from Mexico, and they experienced a median delay in diagnosis of more than three years, the team reports JAMA Dermatology, online August 7.

Multibacillary leprosy (MB) cases outnumbered paucibacillary leprosy (PB) cases by nearly eight to one (88.6% vs. 11.4%, respectively), and Latino patients were more likely than non-Latino patients to have MB, as were patients from Central or South America (versus other regions).

Most patients (80.7%) received multidrug therapy, and most (92.6%) received antibiotics for more than two years, especially if they had MB.

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