Two possible leprosy cases found in Southern California school


JURUPA VALLEY , Calif. (UPI) — Two possible cases of leprosy have been found in students at an elementary school east of Los Angeles, authorities said.

The leprosy diagnosis is still to be confirmed, but officials at Indian Hills elementary School in Jurupa Valley warned parents Friday of the possible cases of Hansen’s disease, commonly known as leprosy.

Some students returned to school Tuesday with medical masks. Other parents kept their kids at home.

“We had reported to the office two students who were initially told by their doctor that they were diagnosed with leprosy, this is unconfirmed because leprosy requires a significant diagnosis including things like a biopsy,” said Jurupa Unified School District Superintendent Elliott Duchon.

An official diagnosis will take several weeks, said Barbara Cole, director for disease control for the Riverside County Department of Public Health.

The school’s nursing staff was told of the preliminary diagnosis, Duchon said, but would not confirm if the students were from the same household. He said the district is following the health department’s guidelines and has disinfected the students classrooms.

Hansen’s disease is communicable typically between people living in close contact. Antibiotics will prevent the person with the disease from transmitting it to others, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.