Southern California child tests positive for leprosy

JURUPA VALLEY, Calif. (AP) – A child from a Southern California elementary school has been found to have leprosy.

Riverside County health officials on Thursday announced the confirmation of the condition medically known as Hansen’s disease.

Two children from Indian Hills Elementary School in Jurupa Valley had been diagnosed by a local doctor with the disease. But when the results were sent to a laboratory in Louisiana that specializes in leprosy tests, only one of them tested positive.

Dr. Cameron Kaiser, the county’s public health officer, emphasizes that it is incredibly difficult to contract leprosy and that the school is safe. The classrooms had been sanitized since the initial diagnoses.

The U.S. sees only about 150 leprosy cases occur each year.

It can only be contracted through prolonged contact and is easily treated with antibiotics.

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