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To the Editor:
—A bill (S 4086) providing for the national control of leprosy and the care of lepers is now pending before the United States Senate. This is the history of the bill. The Public Health Service and others interested in leprosy, particularly dermatologists, for years have realized that the incidence of this disease was gradually increasing in this country, and that it was therefore a menace. Whenever a case of leprosy is diagnosed in the community a great hue and cry results and there is ample opportunity for hysterical journalism. Although we realize that leprosy is not one of the most infectious of diseases, yet we do not know the exact manner of its transmission from one person to another. The cycle of the organism and the conditions of infection with it are not known. However, history and past experience demonstrate its infectious nature. Lepers moving from place
Engman MF. A National Leprosarium. JAMA. 1916;LXVII(25):1865. doi:10.1001/jama.1916.02590250067029