California school warns of possible leprosy cases

The Jurupa Unified School District in southern California sent home a notice last week to all parents warning them of two reported, but unconfirmed, cases of leprosy.

The disfiguring skin disease that lead to the banning of those infected from their homes during the Middle Ages, is “not highly transmissible” and “very treatable," according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The notice was shared by district superintendent Elliott Duchon.

“The school district has received an unconfirmed report that two students at Indian Hills Elementary School have been diagnosed with Hansen’s disease (leprosy.) In an abundance of caution,  administration wanted to share this information with you as soon as possible.”

Worldwide the number of new leprosy patients has dropped from around 10 million in 1991 to around 230,000. Of these, 58 percent were to be found in India, followed by Brazil and Indonesia, according to the World Health Organization.