In the U.S., Hansen’s disease is rare. Around the world, as many as 2 million people are permanently disabled as a result of Hansen’s disease.
Overall, the risk of getting Hansen’s disease for any adult around the world is very low. That’s because more than 95% of all people have natural immunity to the disease.
In the southern United States, some armadillos are naturally infected with the bacteria that cause Hansen's disease.
You may be at risk for the disease if you live in a country where the disease is widespread. Countries that reported more than 1,000 new cases of Hansen’s disease to WHO between 2011 and 2015 are:
- Africa: Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, United Republic of Tanzania
- Asia: Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka
- Americas: Brazil
You may also be at risk if you are in prolonged close contact with people who have untreated Hansen’s disease. If they have not been treated, you could get the bacteria that cause Hansen’s disease. However, as soon as patients start treatment, they are no longer able to spread the disease.
Leprosy is not a reportable disease in Oklahoma.