Leprosy spreads in Central Florida

Originally published at: Leprosy spreads in Central Florida | Boing Boing


Leprosy spreads in Central Florida

If the reality of Leprosy weren’t so horrific, that headline would be a great political metaphor.

At any rate, the line between reality and metaphor here blurs upon realizing that DeSantis’s policies, on health care and more, are likely to do little more than further harm these sadly stricken people.


This is what happens when our corrupt elected officials declare war on science and logic itself.


Exactly. And it’s not just Florida. There was a polio outbreak in New York a year or two ago (which prompted my mother to call me and inform me that I never got the polio vaccine…shit, I still need to look into that), malaria is showing signs of a comeback in the US, there have been measles and mumps outbreaks. A lot of people just don’t seem to be aware of exactly how debilitating and deadly a lot of these diseases we had under control can be.


Leprosy, malaria, measles, mumps, polio, whooping cough, etc. are all making comebacks in Idiot America. Its spiritual capital is Florida, which attracts anti-science fascists and religious fundies and woo peddlers.


Absolutely nothing to be happy about here. DeSantis isn’t the one suffering from this disease epidemic.

Saying “Leprosy? Ha! Take that, DeSantis!” is kind of like saying “AIDS? Ha! Take that, Reagan!”


Been on vaca the last week, came back to a Health Dept notification of an ongoing pertussis outbreak here. Mostly, of course, among unvaccinated kids, but a few in vaccinated ones. Needless to say, this is what is being seized on by “certain gentlepersons” to prove that vaccination does not work. I have resigned myself to having to get familiar with a lot of diseases I thought I would never have to deal with again. (Leprosy emphatically not on that list!)



As much blame as the Florida Governor deserves for, well, pretty much everything that he’s done, the CDC report doesn’t really get into the cause for the increase in cases, or what policies can be put in place to slow the spread, other than telling people to avoid contact with Armadillos.

The report notes that about 2/3rds of cases are still in “persons who had immigrated from leprosy-endemic areas,” and it also says

so unfortunately it’s really easy to imagine DeSantis using that as an excuse to get even more draconian against immigrants. There’s certainly precedent for that kind of discriminatory reaction. The anti-asian reaction to bubonic plague cases in San Francisco’s Chinatown in the early 1900s, for example.


In Florida? Good luck with that.


Wow that’s really doubling down on that return to the Bible rhetoric


To be fair to DeSantis, that’s definitely what my pastor told me Jesus would do with lepers… /s



No need for Bugs Bunny to saw off the state of Florida now.

Given enough time it will fall off on its own.


Wonder how this tracks with anti-vax sentiment…


ehhh maybe the saw is a better idea before the leprosy starts heading north.


I think this is a key element of the anti-vax and anti-science-based-medicine movements. We have one, two, or three generations of people who grew up without these diseases around (because science and government regulation fixed them), so they don’t think they are a serious problem. Like, for most people mumps is just the source of a cheap sight gag in cartoons. But it’s a serious and horrible goddam disease!

Or something like Polio, which people probably know is serious, but they don’t see anyone with it, so they don’t think the threat is real. People don’t get vaccinated for measles and still don’t get it (because other people vaccinated) so they think they’re safe. That’s true until very suddenly it isn’t.

I really hope we’re not trapped in some cycle where every fifty years we have to “let” these diseases come back for people to take them seriously again and then re-engage with science.


You are correct. I will remove the comment. Thanks.


Yeah I definitely vote against that cycle being a thing. Also, I really need to remember to check into that polio vaccine for myself. I was shocked when my mom told me that. I was severely allergic to a lot of stuff when I was the age when people typically got vaccinated for polio in the early-mid 70s. I got vaccinated for everything else, but apparently there was something in the polio vaccine at the time my doctor was concerned about, so I got a medical exemption to attend school, which I never knew about.


Honestly lots of people don’t get vaccinated for polio anymore. I don’t think I am either, just because it’s not on the standard childhood schedule in many places anymore. The disease was considered eliminated everywhere except a few pockets in a couple of poorer countries. Not quite small-pox-level elimination, but close.

With it starting to come back, I imagine we will see the shot get added back to the schedule.