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Communicable Disease: Hansen's Disease

Bhutanese Refugee Health Profile

Hansen’s disease (leprosy) is endemic in Nepal. Visa medical examinations include a search for symptoms and lesions consistent with Hansen’s disease. During screening exams conducted by IOM panel physicians in Nepal, fewer than 0.1% of Bhutanese refugees reported a history of Hansen’s disease. 15 During 2008–2011, four Bhutanese refugees arrived in the United States with a class B designation for Hansen’s disease. A class B designation is given to refugees who either received six months of treatment for the lepramatous or borderline (dimorphous) form of Hansen’s disease with a satisfactory clinical response, or were diagnosed with the indeterminate or tuberculoid form of the disease.


  1. Texas Department of State Health Services (2009-2011), Electronic System for Health Assesment of Refugees (eShare Database).