U.S. Leprosy Budget Cut Closes Clinics, Threatens Research


About 3300 people in the United States need care for leprosy, also known as Hansen disease. Leprosy can damage nerves, discolor skin, and cause disfigurement if untreated. Although antibiotics can clear the infection, U.S clinicians often have difficulty diagnosing the rare disease. The United States has long had a National Hansen’s Disease program which for several years had a budget of $15.2 million. The new congressional budget has reduced it to $13.7 million, a cut of about 10%.

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