Leprosy (also known as Hansen's disease) is a chronic bacterial disease that primarily affects humans but has also been found in a small number of animals. People can become infected with leprosy by breathing in respiratory droplets from other infected individuals. Leprosy mainly affects the skin and nerves but can also cause a wide range of other symptoms. If left untreated, this disease can cause permanent damage to the skin, nerves, limbs, and eyes. However, leprosy is curable with multi-drug antibiotic therapy. Most cases occur in Africa, Asia, and Latin America; most cases occurring in the United States are in immigrants or refugees.
Page last updated 12/21/2022