Commonly known as leprosy, Hansen's disease is a bacterial infection which affects the skin, nerves, and eyes. 95% of the general population is immune, and cannot be infected. The bacteria grows very slowly, and treatment can go on for many years, with complications similar to those that occur with diabetes. Screening and treatment of people with leprosy and their contacts are available to residents throughout Arizona.
How Common is Hansen's Disease
Hansen's disease occurs primarily in countries other than the United States. In 2002, 96 cases were reported within the United States, while worldwide, 794,000 cases were reported.
In 2006, there were two reported cases of Hansen's disease in Maricopa County. Most Hansen's cases within the continental United States occur in the southeast region of the country.
Maricopa County's Department of Public Health's Role in Treating the Disease
Hansen's patients are referred to the Maricopa County Department of Public Health by community health care providers. We hold a monthly clinic to evaluate, treat, and manage Hansen's patients who live in the area.
We are one of only 16 clinics in the nation that treat Hansen's disease. Hansen's patients from around the state visit our clinic for treatment.