After 2 leprosy cases were found in the Jurupa Valley, California elementary school, the classrooms were sanitized by a company. One parent reported that two of the students have leprosy and the case is now under investigation by the national leprosy lab.
The leprosy cases were diagnosed by a doctor. But authorities like the Riverside County health department say they remain unconfirmed.
Biological samples taken from the elementary school students were sent to the National Leprosy (Hansen’s disease) Lab in Baton Rouge. The tests will be ready in a few weeks, according to the local Center for Disease Control director, Barbara Cole.
This Tuesday, almost 100 of the school’s 630 students did not come to school.
A sanitizing company decontaminated classrooms as a measure of precaution after a parent reported the situation at school. Elliott Duchon, district superintendent says they were announced by the parent and they decided to clean the classrooms used by the sick kids. Although they were not entirely sure the cleaning process was necessary.
The children who were found with leprosy did not attend school on Tuesday. Cole could not say whether the students have traveled or if they were related. None of the children is in hospital at the moment.
Leprosy makes many people fear for their state of health. The chronic bacterial disease used to be left untreated before, so it could destroy people’s bodies.
Nowadays, around 95 percent of people have an immunity to leprosy. It is a rare sickness – according to the CDC.
This disease is spread through nasal secretions or through close breathing contact, sneezing or coughing. Fortunately, it is not contagious if the people who have been exposed to it get the appropriate antibiotics as soon as possible, but not later than 2 days.
Cole pointed out that if leprosy is diagnosed early and treated quickly with the right antibiotics, most people are able to live with it.
Health officials informed parents of the diagnosis on Friday. On Tuesday, right after the Labor Day weekend, 97 students did not attend school. Many parents who were picking up their children said they had worries about the situation.
Riverside County had seen a similar case in 2011. Leprosy is not highly contagious. It’s hard for it to spread in a classroom. However, families do risk getting infected – according to Cole.
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