Risk of Exposure
In the U.S., leprosy is rare.
Around the world, as many as 2 million people are permanently disabled as a result of Hansen’s disease.
You may be at risk for the disease if you:
- live in a country where the disease is widespread. Such countries include:
- Central African Republic
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- Federated States of Micronesia
- Republic of Marshall Islands
- United Republic of Tanzania
- are in prolonged close contact with people who have untreated Hansen’s disease. If they have not been treated, you could be exposed to the bacteria that cause Hansen’s disease. As soon as patients start treatment, however, they are no longer able to spread the disease.
Most adults around the world, however, might face no risk at all. That’s because evidence shows that 95% of all adults are naturally unable to get the disease, even if they’re exposed to the bacteria that causes it.