Leprosy cases are on the rise in Florida, according to a new analysis published in the CDC’s journal Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID). While the disease is still rare in the US – only 159 cases were reported in 2020 – a study published Monday by EID and shared by the CDC found that central Florida was responsible for most of these cases.

Central Florida appears to have the highest number of cases in the Sunshine State, accounting for about one-fifth of the cases reported in the United States.

Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, is a persistent disease caused by acid-fast Mycobacterium leprae. According to the EID, the disease usually affects the skin and peripheral nervous system. Today, the disease can be treated with antibiotics.

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