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Occurrence of Leprosy in U.S. Veterans after Service in Endemic Areas Abroad

Merlin L. Brubaker, Chapman H. Binford and John R. Trautman
Public Health Reports (1896-1970)
Vol. 84, No. 12 (Dec., 1969), pp. 1051-1058
DOI: 10.2307/4593754
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4593754
Page Count: 8
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Occurrence of Leprosy in U.S. Veterans after Service in Endemic Areas Abroad
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Abstract

Before 1940, 83 cases of leprosy were reported in U.S. veterans. Thirty of these cases were considered to be the result of exposure to the disease outside the continental United States during the Spanish-American War. From 1940 through 1968, 240 cases of leprosy were reported in U.S. veterans. As indicated in a résumé of their cases, 46 veterans were considered to have service-connected leprosy as a result of their exposure outside the United States. No study has been reported of contacts of veterans with leprosy. One situation was brought to light, however, in which leprosy was diagnosed in the wife and three children of an infected veteran. The family lived in a nonendemic area in the United States. Delay in the early diagnosis of leprosy is caused by the failure of both patients and physicians to suspect the disease. Early diagnosis and treatment assure the best possible opportunity for arresting the disease and preventing disability and further spread by reduction of the infectious reservoir.

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