Hansen’s disease, also known as Leprosy, is a chronic disease resulting from infection with a bacterium known as Mycobacterium leprae. The bacterium multiplies very slowly and mainly affects the skin, nerves, and mucous membranes. There are two common forms of the disease, tuberculoid and lepromatous, and both forms produce sores on the skin.
New cases of Hansen’s disease in the U. S. are few, diagnosed mainly in California, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Texas, New York City, and Puerto Rico.
Hansen’s disease is reportable to the Iowa Department of Public Health by Iowa Administrative Code 641 IAC 1.