Leprosy1





Leprosy


Disease Project-Leprosy Out of all the diseases that exist today, one of them has always been considered a curse of the damned. It did not kill people, nor did it seem to end. In biblical times, the people with this disease were forsaken from the community and required to call out “unclean, unclean”. This disease, Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s Disease is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium Leprae which is an acid-fast rod. Leprosy’s main mode of transmission is from contact with upper respiratory droplets and broken skin. The leprosy germ affects peripheral nerves which lie near the skin, bones and skin. If they are left untreated, it can lead to a loss of feeling in the affected parts of the body. The hands, feet, eyes and face are most at risk. Inattentive patients can pick up a pot of boiling water without even noticing it because of not having feeling in the hands. Signs of leprosy include a disfiguring of the skin and bones, twisting of the limbs, and curling of the fingers to form the characteristic claw hand. Loss of facial features coexist with thickening of the outer ear and collapse of the nose . Tumor like growths called lepromas from on the skin and in the respiratory tract in lepromatous leprosy. There is no toxin involved in leprosy. The treatment for it involves three antibiotics, Dapsone, Rifampacin, and Clotazine. These three antibiotics that get rid of the germ are a Multidrug Therapy (MDT). People with leprosy need to take treatment with two drugs for six months. Severe infections need three drugs for 24 months. Attempts have been made to immunize populations with BCG, the vaccine for Tuberculosis. Leprosy has a long incubation period, but early diagnoses uses a procedure called the lepromin test, similar to how TB is tested on the skin. People affected by leprosy live in developing countries in Africa, Asia and South America. It is a disease of poverty and tends to spread in areas of malnutrition and overcrowding. Leprosy is most prevalent in India, Brazil, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Indonesia.



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