Deadly and ancient diseases have made a rebound in the USA as we have growing homelessness and floods of illegal immigrants. Recent reports indicate that leprosy, a particularly debilitating disease, is rearing its head in the homeless population in Los Angeles, California. Leprosy is caused by a bacteria that is contagious and is relatively easily spread by coughing and sneezing. To call it a nasty disease is an understatement.
Leprosy, a deadly disease from the middle ages has re-emerged threatening a number of homeless people in Los Angeles.
According to the CDC, between 100 and 200 new cases of leprosy are annually reported in the U.S., Dr. Marc Siegel, a professor of medicine and medical director at Doctor Radio at NYU Langone Health, wrote in The Hill.
Dr. Siegel added a USC study discovered that most of the 187 patients with leprosy who were treated at its clinic between 1973 to 2018 came from Mexico where the disease is widespread.
He also noted that leprosy remains more prevalent in Central and South America with over 20,000 new cases diagnosed annually.
“Given that, there is certainly the possibility of sporadic cases of leprosy continuing to be brought across our southern border undetected,” Dr. Siegel said.
The occurrence led Dr. Siegel to issue a warning that the contagious disease that is spread by respiratory secretions and nasal droplets in close proximities will soon affect nearly 60,000 homeless people, 75 percent of whom lack temporary shelter or enough hygiene and medical care, in Los Angeles.
The Daily Mail reported that leprosy or also known as Hansen’s disease, affecting 250,000 people worldwide yearly, is caused by the bacteria called Mycobacterium leprae. It attacks the nerves in the body, thus results to the ‘peeling’ characteristic of the skin as per the CDC.
If the disease is left untreated, it could progress to paralysis of the hands and feet.
So, this is another issue that has reared its head in the homeless camps along with rat infestations, human waste deposits in the streets, and rampant drug addiction. The disease has the potential to render a person permanently disabled.