Leprosy: Ancient Disease Posing a New Challenge in America

F.D. Beckham, Yahoo! News, April 28, 2011

Leprosy is a disease that has plagued the human race since the beginning of time. It has affected people of all races, nationalities and social status. The early days of American history has involved issues involving leprosy, regarding the treatment of people suffering from the disease. Over the years, leprosy has failed to be considered a threat to public health, however, now it is becoming a concern.

{snip}

Leprosy In Modern America

Cases of leprosy are rare in the U.S.. However, due to the increase in immigrants from Mexico, India, Africa and other Third World nations, there has been an increase in the number of reported leprosy cases. According to research done by Ben Whitford in Leprosy In America: New Causes of Concern, an average of 130 leprosy cases are discovered each year among immigrants. The leprosy cases are mainly in areas of the United States with a high immigrant populations, such as in New York, Texas, California, and Florida. According to Whitford, because many American doctors have very little experience in treating the disease, leprosy in its early stages is often mistaken for eczema or diabetes.

People with HIV are now at risk of developing leprosy. (Worrisome New Link: AIDS Drugs& Leprosy, New York Times, Oct 24, 2006, Donald G. McNeil Jr.) These cases have been found in various places in the United States as well as in Third World nations. People treated with antiretroviral drugs for AIDS are developing leprosy. Doctors and scientist are baffled at this problem and are trying to figure out the cause.

{snip}

  • john

    This a truly appalling story. Leprosy, which had all but been eradicated by little more than soap and water and basic hygeine, is now one again on the rise.

    Though the disease is not overly contagious and thus is unlikely to become any sort of horrific epidemic in advanced countries, the idea that Americans and Europeans are at risk at all for this most feared and ugly of all infections is incredible in this modern age.

    Uncontrolled immigration, if not stopped by whatever means necessary, could be the downfall of Western Civilization.

  • Seneca the Younger

    “It has affected people of all races, nationalities and social status.”

    But it CURRENTLY affects third world countries, more so. Why? Take a guess.

    Anyone ever wonder why we get outbreaks of ancient diseases when an influx of migrants come across the border or Haitians pour into Florida?

    Some of these people have to try really hard to ignore facts.

  • Dutchman

    Now it’s leporsy. Here in New York State we have a horrific plague of bed bugs festering in New York City. Bed bugs were practically eliminated, but the influx of unsanitary Third Worlders has brought a bug resurgence.

    There has also been a rise in cases of tuberculosis mainly from Mexico, but also from Asia and Africa. If you are a writer there is now a chance to heroically die of consumption like Stephen Crane or Checkov. Maybe it will improve my writing?

    I recently heard of a case of dengue in Florida. Dengue! The last time I heard the word dengue was in the Philippines. Since this is transmitted by mosquitos, does that mean a mosquito in Fl fed on a Southeast Asian and then spread it to a local? I’m hoping someone visited that part of the world and realized they were sick when they reached the States.

    Not only illnesses, but the wave of immigrants have also brought animal invaders. We now have lots of invasive pests(besides humans) from Asia-wood boring beetles, stink bugs, mollusks, and so on. And this is not just from ships or aircraft picking up invertebrate stow-aways and bringing them back. Ships have traveled between North America and Asia for at least 150 years and no wood-borers until the late 20th Century?

  • GenX ANZAC

    Check out this animation of global air traffic over a 24hr period.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4g930pm8Ms

    All those tiny yellow dots that represent planes, paint the States, Europe and various other money centres completely yellow.

    You can see how the bird and swine flu’s spread as quickly as they did.

  • Kenelm Digby

    I am pretty sure that I read, decades ago, that leprosy was eliminated from the world, apart from one or two ‘colonies’ in India.

    I am not even sure that leprosy has ever existed on US soil. Since the USA is a ‘young’ nation, that always instituted health controls of immigrants, and leprosy was exceedingly rare in Europe, where most immigrants historically originated, it is likely that leprosy on American soil is a new phenomenon, a gift of diversity and vibrancy.

  • Michael C. Scott

    I too, think leprosy was once nearly eradicated, Mr. Digby. The notion passes a reality check because leprosy has no animal reservoir. Diseases – like polio and smallpox – that have no animal reservoir are the ailments most subject to eradication. The only animals who can catch leprosy other than humans are armadillos, and since leprosy is an Old-World disease, armadillos are not really a reservoir.

  • Anonymous

    Google news results…

    The word “leprosy” but not the words “immigration,” “immigrant” or “immigrants” – about 479 results.

    The words “leprosy” and “armadillo” but not the words “immigration,” “immigrant” or “immigrants” – about 317 results.

    The word “leprosy” and at least one of the words “immigration,” “immigrant” or “immigrants” – 4 results.

    The words “leprosy” and “armadillo” and at least one of the words “immigration,” “immigrant” or “immigrants” – 1 result.

    My conclusions: (1) there are significantly fewer mainstream media stories on leprosy in the USA that mention immigration (in any capacity) than there are mainstream media stories on leprosy in the USA that do not mention immigration (in any capacity). (2) there are about as many mainstream media stories on the link between leprosy and armadillos as there are mainstream media stories on the link between leprosy and immigrants. (3) That American Renaissance is making the connection between leprosy in the USA and immigrants puts it in a hundreds-to-one minority – and that is a valuable service, for which I give thanks.

    I do not always agree with AmRen, nor do I find everything AmRen publishes in accord with my interests, but three cheers for the underdog.

  • BAW

    We used to screen immigrants for diseases; in fact, one of my ancestors was detained because of something called trachoma (which at the rate we’re going, is likely to be the next thing to come back). But political correctness, coupled with the push toward cheap labor, ended all that.

  • Julian Lee

    I’ll note the flood of illegal Mexicans has also brought us the resurgence of Bed Bugs in our states. Once only found in the seediest hotels, now places like the New York Times office building is infested with them, and homes all over the country.

  • B J Deller

    The other problem raising its Third World head again is a virulent tuberculosis which has been detected in British schools that have newly arrived immigrant children attending them. What has happened to mandatory medical tests for all know contagious diseases before immigrants can be allowed to mix with the general populace? This must of course include HIV/AIDS, a major problem in Sub-Saharan Africa. Who (which govt department) do we sue if your child catches such diseases. God protect us from the Liberal/Socialist left

  • Anonymous

    I saw a documentary several years ago detailing the spread of parasites in the Orthodox Jewish community in California. The parasites settled in the brain. It took a long time to figure out that it was spread by their maids from south of the border. It also happened in NYC in the 1990’s. Again, spread by the maids. We’re under attack in so many different ways.

  • Anonymous

    I recently read that health officials have discovered leprosy being carried by armadillos in Texas. So, there appears to be in fact, a non-human reservoir for Leprosy. I have no doubt however that illegal aliens/immigrants from the Third World have also brought this disease back to life in the U.S. Heck, maybe they gave it to the armadillos! ;)

  • True Blue

    I have little to add, but that it is somehow apt that -re: bedbugs “Once only found in the seediest hotels, now places like the New York Times office building is infested with them…”

    How appropriate for the acme of PC “news” pimps and prostitutes.