Burden of Leprosy


      • Hansen disease (HD) still occurs globally, including in the United States.
      • Antimicrobial therapy is available and effective in the treatment of HD.
      • Nurse practitioners should include HD in the differential diagnosis.
      • National resources are available to assist in the diagnosis and management of HD.


      Hansen disease, also known as leprosy, is a curable infectious disease that continues to cause great disability and stigma globally, including in the United States. Nurse practitioners may believe that Hansen disease is a rare and ancient disease localized to underdeveloped countries, but it still exists in the US and should be included in the differential diagnosis. Hansen disease, although curable, can lead to deformity and disability if not diagnosed early. This article aims to raise awareness of Hansen disease by providing an introductory understanding of the disease process, diagnosis, and treatment.


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      Rebecca D. Martin, DNP, FNP, is a part-time lecturer at Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing in Dallas, TX, and can be reached at [email protected].


      Ivorry F. Gomez, DNP, FNP-BC, lives in Dallas, TX.


      Lori A. Spies, PhD, FNP, is an assistant professor at Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing in Dallas, TX.