Leprosy caused by Mycobacterium leprae infection has been stigmatized since ancient times because of its disfiguring sores, nerve damage and (false) reputation for being highly contagious. This has prompted agencies such as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization to rename it ‘Hansen’s disease (leprosy)’. However, establishing equivalence between historical leprosy and modern Hansen’s disease could take time.
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The authors declare no competing interests.