Tests confirm Jurupa Valley child has leprosy

Lab tests have confirmed that a Jurupa Valley child has leprosy, or Hansen’s disease, Riverside County public health officials reported Thursday, Sept. 22.

The findings by the National Hansen’s Disease (Leprosy) Laboratory Research Program in Baton Rouge, La., supported a local doctor’s diagnosis that a student at Indian Hills Elementary School had leprosy.

A second student who may be related to the other child also had been diagnosed with the disease, but lab results did not confirm that the second person has leprosy.

News of the lab-test confirmation was provided to Jurupa Unified School District officials about 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22.

School officials quickly alerted parents by phone and email, and district Superintendent Elliott Duchon drove to Indian Hills Elementary School to answer questions from parents.

“We want to assure people that the school is a safe place. There’s no hazard of contagion at the school,” Duchon said later by phone.

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