Usa, outbreak of leprosy in Florida: disease is becoming endemic

The incidence of leprosy is gradually increasing in the United States: the number of cases recorded in the southeastern states, especially Florida, has more than doubled in the last decade. This was reported by a survey by the CDC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Florida, especially in the central area, one fifth of all new cases of leprosy notified in 2020 are concentrated, which amount to 159. According to researchers Aashni Bhukhan, Charles Dunn and Rajiv Nathoo, there is a higher incidence of cases of leprosy in the absence of traditional risk factors. Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by the bacillus Mycobacterium leprae, which particularly affects the skin and the peripheral nervous system and is infected through prolonged exposure to droplets produced with respiration. “Historically, leprosy has been uncommon in the United States. Incidence peaked around 1983 then experienced a dramatic decline in the annual number of documented cases from the 1980s through 2000,” the investigators noted. However, in the last decade the incidence has started to rise again. The peculiarity is that the cases in which the patient was born in a foreign country where an incidence of the disease is reported have decreased, and the cases due to exposure to risk factors such as contact with animals that can transmit leprosy, such as some species of armadillos.