Saturday, February 9, 2008

No Leprosy Outbreak in Springdale, Arkansas

The Morning News [AR]
8 February 2008

Health Experts Dispel Leprosy, Tuberculosis Rumors

By Bill Lonon

There are no outbreaks of tuberculosis or leprosy in Northwest Arkansas, according to the Arkansas Department of Health, which released a statement Friday to correct what it called erroneous reports repeated all day to local, state and federal government officials. [...]

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
9 February 2008

SPRINGDALE : Officials: Leprosy story false


No outbreaks of leprosy or tuberculosis exist in Springdale or elsewhere in Northwest Arkansas, state health officials said Friday in an attempt to allay fear following a TV station's report Thursday night. [...]

[Up to 8,000 people from the Marshall Islands live in Springdale, Arkansas. Leprosy "is a substantial issue in the Marshall Islands," but state officials insist there is no outbreak of the disease in Arkansas. Dr. James Phillips, the Health Department's branch chief of infectious diseases, states, "We have had leprosy in Arkansas since forever. Some people get the idea that leprosy just came with the Marshallese. That's not true."]