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Treating Leprosy in Georgia

You may be unfamiliar with Hansen’s disease. It is rare in the United States, with currently only 6,500 cases nationwide.

But you’ve probably heard of leprosy—the biblical scourge that was feared to be highly contagious, and that causes skin sores, nerve damage, and muscle weakness. They are one and the same.

Emory clinicians have treated patients with Hansen’s disease for years, and recently, the National Hansen’s Disease Program (NHDP) designated Emory Healthcare's TravelWell clinic as one of only 16 federally supported outpatient clinics to treat patients in the United States and Puerto Rico. TravelWell is the only NHDP site in Georgia.

Today we know that Hansen's disease is not highly transmissible, is very treatable, and, with early diagnosis and treatment, is not disabling. However, because it is rarely seen, the condition often goes undiagnosed or is diagnosed incorrectly, increasing the risk of complications. When it is caught early, doctors can prescribe antibiotics and prevent major nerve damage.

Related Links

Emory's TravelWell Clinic becomes national resource for leprosy patients

TravelWell - Traveler Health Resources

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