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December 12, 1966

Leprosy in Norway

Author Affiliations

Geneva, Switzerland

JAMA. 1966;198(11):1223. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110240131051

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To the Editor:—  A statement is made in JAMA's recent editorial (197:580, 1966), "The Leprosy Puzzle," to the effect that leprosy disappeared in Norway under a program in the last 125 years "without drug therapies or isolation procedures."It is historically an epidemiological fact that the most stringent isolation procedures were applied in Norway against leprosy in the century gone by since the pioneer work of Dr. Armauer Hansen, whose name and fame is attached to the microorganism causing the disease. All patients with diagnosed leprosy in Norway were in fact immediately isolated at several leprosoria throughout the country, the latest of which, the well-known St. Jorgen's Hospital in Bergen, was closed only a few years ago. Indeed, isolation requirements were so strict that patients were immediately separated from their families, and family members, particularly children, were not allowed to visit the leprosoria.The leprosoria in Norway were