SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A rare case of leprosy has been reported in northwest Iowa’s Woodbury County.
Doctors say leprosy, also called Hansen’s disease, causes red skin sores and, if not treated, can cause hand and foot paralysis and blindness.
Tyler Brock of the Siouxland District Health Department says only a couple cases have been recorded in Woodbury County during his 19 years with the department. The Iowa Department of Public Health says nine cases of leprosy were identified in the state from 1994 through 2015.
Brock would not provide details of the case, including whether it was related to immigration or travel. The disease is common in some countries.
Mercy Medical Center disease specialist Daniel Lamptey says leprosy isn’t highly contagious and is curable if caught early enough.
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