Leprosy is not very contagious, but it’s still affecting more than 200,000 people around the world. According to the CDC, it takes months of exposure to the disease for someone to contract leprosy. However, the CDC warned that a leprosy outbreak is now spreading in the homeless population across the US.
Accordingly, we might witness the return of leprosy in the United States. “According to the CDC, there are between 100 and 200 new cases of leprosy reported in the US every year,” said Dr. Marc Siegel from New York University’s Langone Health in his blog post on The Hill.
Leprosy is not the only Medieval disease that seems to reemerge in the US. Typhus is another illness that is also spreading in the homeless population in the United States. According to Siegel, poor hygiene, lack of proper medical care, and so on might soon trigger the return of leprosy and typhus in regions where many homeless people reside, such as Los Angeles County.
Leprosy Outbreak Is Spreading In The Homeless Population Across The US
“The poor are disproportionately affected by this disease because close quarters, poor sanitation, and lack of prompt diagnosis or treatment easily can convert a disease that should be rare to one that is more common. It seems only a matter of time before leprosy could take hold among the homeless population,” added Dr. Marc Siegel.
As explained by the CDC, if not treated in time, leprosy (Hansen’s Disease) causes crippling of hands and legs, paralysis, blindness, and untreatable ulcerations, and many other symptoms. In Medieval times, a leprosy outbreak occurred due to poor hygiene and pestilence the individuals used to live in, and it made lots of victims.
Until now, in the US, about 150 individuals contract leprosy each year. But, now, that could change due to the leprosy outbreak that’s spreading in the homeless population across the US. Dr. Siegel worries that the increase in the leprosy cases in LA could cause public panic.