Not a single case of the disease, which is now curable with medications, has been transmitted locally in L.A. in the past 10 years
By Miriam Raftery
Photo by B. Jehle, Creative Commons license
September 18, 2019 (San Diego) – An article published by the London tabloid Daily Mail and cited by some U.S. media outlets falsely suggested an outbreak of leprosy among homeless in Los Angeles to be an eminent threat. The Daily Mail quoted Dr. Marc Siegel as stating, “'Leprosy appearing among the homeless in LA is a sure recipe for instant public panic.”
But Associated Press has debunked the story. The Los Angeles County Health Department confirms that the rate of leprosy has stayed steady for the past decade, averaging only two cases a year – and none of those were transmitted locally, AP reports. This year, only a single case has occurred.