Leprosy is a chronic bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae, which affects the skin, mucous membranes, and peripheral nerves. Symptoms usually will not start to appear until several years after contact with a person with leprosy. The mode of transmission is unclear. Leprosy is more common in temperate, tropical, and subtropical climates. In 2004, 105 cases were reported in the U.S., with most cases occurring in California, Texas, Hawaii, and New York City. There was one reported case of leprosy in Indiana in 2004; this was the only reported case during the five-year period 2000-2004. The cause of transmission for the reported case was not determined.
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Hansen's Disease (Leprosy)