Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Single Case of Leprosy Diagnosed in Northwest Iowa

There is news of a single diagnosed case of leprosy in Woodbury County -- way over in northewest Iowa. According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, there were nine cases of leprosy in Iowa between 1994 and 2015. That presumably does not include this case, since it's currently 2017.

Details surrounding this case are being kept confidential -- which is only legal and right. 

Leprosy is a bacterial infection. It causes red skin sores, hand and foot paralysis, and blindness if left untreated. It's contageous, but not highly contageous. In other words, you have to be in really close contact with someone who is infected and it appears to be transmitted through nasal droplets. And apparently armadillos are good at infecting people with leprosy.

Social media hasn't been kind about this story. I've seen several people suggest that the infected individual must be a refugee or an illegal immigrant. But I've seen nothing to suggest that this is true.

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