- Leprosy cases are surging in Florida, suggesting the chronic infectious disease may have become endemic in southeastern US.
- Number of cases more than doubled in the southeastern states over the last decade.
Reports that a travel advisory has been issued to Florida state in the US due to increased cases of leprosy are FALSE.
A number of X users (formerly known as Twitter) had taken to their socials claiming that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had issued an advisory to Florida, allegations which the agency denied.
“The CDC has issued a travel advisory for the state of Florida due to an increase in leprosy cases, Maybe Ron DeSantis should focus on that instead of Mickey Mouse and drag queens,” read one of the post on the platform.
Another claimed, “The CDC has issued a travel advisory for the State of Florida due to an increase in cases of leprosy.”
But the disease control body in a statement on August 2, stated that it has not issued a travel advisory for Florida, or any other state, due to Hansen’s disease (leprosy).
The CDC in the statement explained that leprosy is very rare in the United States, with less than 200 cases reported per year.
“Most people with Hansen’s disease in the U.S. became infected in a country where it is more common. In the past, leprosy was feared as a highly contagious, devastating disease, but now we know that it’s hard to spread and it’s easily treatable,” read part of the statement.
Leprosy cases are surging in Florida, suggesting the chronic infectious disease may have become endemic in the southeastern United States.
The number of cases more than doubled in the southeastern states over the last decade, with Florida among the top reporting states, the CDC said in its latest report.
Hansen’s disease (also known as leprosy) is an infection caused by slow-growing bacteria called Mycobacterium leprae.
It can affect the nerves, skin, eyes, and lining of the nose (nasal mucosa). With early diagnosis and treatment, the disease can be cured.
People with Hansen’s disease can continue to work and lead an active life during and after treatment.
However, if left untreated, the nerve damage can result in crippling of hands and feet, paralysis, and blindness.
This fact check was published by The Star with support from Code for Africa’s PesaCheck and African Fact-Checking Alliance.