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December 9, 1974

Leprosy in Vietnam Returnees

Author Affiliations

Medical College of Wisconsin Milwaukee

JAMA. 1974;230(10):1388. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240100018014

To the Editor.—  The first case of leprosy contracted by a US serviceman while on active duty in Vietnam was recently reported by Medford.1 He stated that the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology was aware of another case, but no details were available. Those details are briefly presented herein.A 26-year-old man was seen at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Wood, Wis, in December 1971, complaining of an eruption on the right upper arm, forearm, and left lumbar area, of one year's duration. There was an associated numbness and lack of sensation in these areas.The patient was a native of Wisconsin. He had served in the armed forces from June 1966 to June 1968, and spent 12 months in Vietnam. He stated that he had been in close contact with the Vietnamese.Pertinent physical findings were limited to the skin lesions and extremities. On the ulnar side of the