CDC issues travel advisory in Florida due to rising cases of leprosy

The rise in cases of leprosy in Central Florida has led the Center for Disease Control to issue a travel advisory for the State of Florida.

According to a case report by the CDC for Aug. 2023, Central Florida, in particular, accounted for 81% of cases reported in Florida and almost one fifth of nationally reported cases.

Leprosy, or Hansen disease, is a chronic infectious disease caused by the acid-fast rod Mycobacterium leprae. Leprosy primarily affects the skin and peripheral nervous system and causes nerves to become swollen, causing numbness.

According to the CDC study, scientists believe transmission cases may be linked to bacteria in the soil.

The cause of most cases has also been linked to armadillos and person-to-person contact through respiratory droplets.

According to the Florida Department of Health, doctors are required to report leprosy in Florida by the next business day.

For more information about the study, click on this link.

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