No, this isn’t a political joke. Two children in California have been determined to have the disease, which is caused by infection by Mycobacterium leprae. The disease, also called Hansen’s Disease, was confirmed by testing at the CDC Lab in Louisiana.
The signature of the disease is the occurrence of skin lesions, and a person may also lose sensation in the area of the lesion. To have this crop up is surprising. It’s not a diagnosis that your doctor is likely to expect if you show up in his office with these symptoms.
A source of great fear among the ancients, the disease is treatable by a course of antibiotic of up to two years in duration. No fun for the kids for sure.
Where did it come from? Good question.
Miller, Sara, “Leprosy Found in California Child: How Doctors Diagnosed It,” Live Science, 23 Sept. 2015. http://www.livescience.com/56239-leprosy-california-confirmed.html?utm_source=ls-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20160926-ls