Diseases Home > Leprosy in the United States

There are approximately 6,500 cases of leprosy in the United States, with the majority occurring in California, Hawaii, Florida, and New York. In addition, 90 percent of people affected by the disease are immigrants from countries where leprosy is endemic. Around 200 to 250 new cases are reported each year in the United States, with about 175 of these being new cases diagnosed for the first time.

Leprosy in the United States: An Overview

In the United States, there are approximately 6,500 cases of leprosy, 90 percent of which are in immigrants from countries where the disease is endemic. The number of cases with active disease and requiring drug treatment is approximately 600.
There are 200 to 250 cases reported each year, with about 175 of these being diagnosed for the first time. The largest numbers of leprosy cases in the United States are in:
  • California
  • Texas
  • Hawaii
  • Louisiana
  • Florida
  • New York
  • Puerto Rico.
The National Hansen's Disease Program in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is the only institution in the United States exclusively devoted to Hansen's disease (also known as leprosy). The center functions as a referral and consulting center with related research and training activities. Most American patients are treated under U.S. Public Health Service grants at clinics in major cities or by private physicians.

United States Leprosy Cases: Age and Gender

Leprosy can be present at any age, but cases in patients less than 1 year of age are rare. However, up to 20 percent of cases occur before the age of 10. In children in the United States, leprosy occurs equally in males and females. In adults, the disease is twice as common in males as females.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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