2 possible leprosy cases prompt school to warn parents

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - An unconfirmed diagnosis of Hansen’s disease, also known as leprosy, found in two elementary school students in the Riverside-area prompted school district officials to send a letter home to parents last week.

The letter, dated Sept. 1, was posted to the Jurupa Valley Unified School District’s Facebook page and warned that two students from Indian Hills Elementary School were reported to have leprosy, although the diagnosis had not been confirmed by health department officials.

“In an abundance of caution, administration wanted to share this information with you as soon as possible,” a portion of the letter read.

Hansen’s disease affects the skin, peripheral nerves and upper airway, according to the post, which stated the disease was not highly transmissible and is very treatable with early diagnosis and treatment, according to the post, which cited the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"We are trying to keep things calm. There is no reason to believe anybody coming to the school today will be exposed," said school district Superintendent Elliiot Duchon.

The two unidentified students were not in school Monday, KTLA was told by officials, who added that the classrooms were decontaminated over the weekend.