Also known as has is an infection caused by bacteria, slow growth called “Mycobacterium leprae”, affects the nerves, skin, eyes, lining of the nose (nasal mucosa). With early diagnosis and treatment, it becomes possible to treat the disease, and people with Hansen’s disease are able to continue to work and active life during treatment and after.
Old was considered leprosy an infectious disease destructive to a great extent, but we now realize that it does not spread easily and that the treatment is very effective, but if left untreated, the nerve damage may lead to injury of the hands and feet paralyzed, and may cause blindness.
The causes of leprosy.
Features of leprosy that has a long incubation period (time before symptoms appear), which makes it difficult to know where or when someone to this disease, as it is considered children more vulnerable than adults to infection with this disease.
A lot of people who are exposed to the bacteria causing the disease does not contract it because their immune system is able to resist bacteria. Experts believe that the bacteria spread when someone drops a small movable air output from the sneeze or cough of another person affected by leprosy. You can also pass the bacteria through nasal secretions of someone affected by leprosy.
Symptoms and signs of leprosy
Symptoms of the disease appear mainly on the skin, nerves and mucous membranes. The cause of this disease in skin symptoms such as:
- Large patches of color on the chest.
- Patch is not color of the skin, usually flat and pale.
- A painless sore in the sole of the foot.
- A bulge in the face.
- Losing hair eyelashes and eyebrows.
The symptoms caused by nerve damage may include:
- Numbness in the affected areas of the skin.
- Muscle weakness or paralysis (especially in the hands and feet).
- Enlarged nerves, especially those located around the annex to the knee at the sides of the neck.
- Eye problems which may lead to blindness (when affected by the nerves of the face).
- Bleeding in the nose.
The diagnosis of leprosy
For the diagnosis of leprosy is made the following examinations:
- A biopsy or sample of the skin.
- The work of examination of the sweeper bar assembly to determine the type of bacteria causing the disease and determining appropriate treatment.
Treatment of leprosy
Treats leprosy more antibiotics, usually used 2 or 3 antibiotics at the same time it is as with rifampicin, and Clofazimine which is added to some types of the disease. This supports the treatment of multiple medications, and this strategy to prevent the development of antibiotic resistance by bacteria, which may occur due to the length of the treatment. Treatment usually lasts between one to two years, can cure the disease if the treatment is completed as has been mentioned.
Complications of leprosy
If the disease is left untreated, the signs of leprosy developed may include:
- Paralysis in the hands and feet.
- Deformation of the nose and face.
- Chronic ulcers on the sole of the foot.
- The loss of sight.
- Failure in kidney functions.
- WHO (2019) Leprosy elimination, Available at: https://www.who.int/lep/disease/en/ (Accessed: 26 Nov. 2019).
- WHO (2019) Leprosy, Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/leprosy (Accessed: 26 Nov. 2019).
- CDC (2019) Hansen’s Disease (Leprosy), Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/leprosy/treatment/index.html (Accessed: 26 Nov. 2019).