Leprosy case at Australian immigration centre

Jun 10, 2011

A rare case of leprosy has been detected at an Australian immigration detention centre, officials said Friday, but it was not believed to be infectious.

An inmate at Sydney's Villawood detention centre was receiving treatment for the skin disease which is gradually being eradicated around the world, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship said.

"New South Wales Health has advised that the person poses little to no risk to other detainees or staff and that his disease is easily treated with antibiotics," a spokesman said.

"We are advised that people who have occasional contact with an infected person are not at risk of acquiring the disease as it is not easily transmitted from one person to another."

The department said it had been advised there was no need to move or isolate the detainee but, as a precaution, anyone who has had contact with him could be assessed.

, which is curable, is an uncommon infection which exists in tropical and sub-tropical regions but is extremely rare in Australia.

If untreated, the disease can lead to , including loss of sensation and sweating in the extremities, and muscle paralysis in the hands, feet and face, the (WHO) says.

Australian detention centres are under pressure due to an influx of more than 6,000 boatpeople in 2010, leading to criticism that they are overcrowded and conditions unsatisfactory.

Villawood was the scene of riots in April with three staging a rooftop protest over their visa applications that lasted more than a week.

Explore further: AAP updates recommendations for meningococcal vaccines

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Forgotten, but not gone: Leprosy still present in the US

Nov 07, 2008

Long believed to be a disease of biblical times, leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease, continues to be seen in the United States. "Approximately 150 cases are diagnosed each year with 3,000 people in the U.S. currently ...

UQ law student research exposes boat people myths

Aug 16, 2010

A research project undertaken by a group of University of Queensland undergraduate students has exposed the widely believed election myth that boat people are “flooding our borders”.

AIDS drugs reveal leprosy infections

Oct 24, 2006

Experts in New York and around the world have said antiretroviral treatments have revealed hidden cases of leprosy in some AIDS patients.

Recommended for you

5 things to know about Ebola outbreak in W. Africa

4 hours ago

(AP)—There has been panic and fear about the deadly Ebola disease spreading ever since Nigerian health officials reported Friday that a Liberian man sick with the disease had traveled to Togo and then Nigeria ...

Scissoring the lipids

5 hours ago

A new strategy which enables molecules to be disconnected essentially anywhere, even remote from functionality, is described by researchers from the University of Bristol in Nature Chemistry today. The method is now being ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

frajo
not rated yet Jun 11, 2011
Some people have - and use - the freedom to take other people's freedom away when they try to participate in the wealth which gives freedom.
Western freedom is a function of wealth and not intended to be commonly shared.