Encyclopedia

Leprosy

What is leprosy?

Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease that mainly affects the skin, peripheral nerves, mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract and eyes.Leprosy em> causes progressive damage to the affected tissues.

The Latin name of the disease is Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease. Leprosy is a curable disease by applying drug therapy to destroy the bacterium that causes the disease.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms and signs vary depending on the immune response to the causative bacterium Mycobacteriumleprae.

Leprosy manifests itself in three forms: tubecolloid, lepopromatous and borderline. Signs and symptoms also differ depending on the form of the disease:

  • Flat or slightly raised skin lesions or nodules and are often less pigmented than the surrounding skin, although they can also be reddish or copper in color.< /li>
  • Single or multiple skin lesions that appear on cooler parts of the body such as the face, buttocks, or extremities.
  • Skin ulcers;
  • Involvement of peripheral nerves, leading to loss of sensation and muscle weakness;
  • Hoarse voice; >
  • Testicular involvement, which can cause sterility and muscle weakness;
  • Eye pain and redness, inability to close eyelids, corneal ulcers and blindness.
  • Loss of eyelashes and eyebrows;
  • Destruction of nasal cartilage. >

What are the causes of leprosy?

Leprosy is an acquired infectious disease that can affect people of all ages. It is caused by the rod-shaped bacterium.

The bacterium multiplies very slowly and from its penetration into the body until the initial symptoms usually pass between 3 and 6 years, and in rare cases the incubation period may be 20 or more years.

Humans are the main carrier of the bacterium that causes leprosy, but animals such as armadillos and chimpanzees can also be carriers.

Leprosy is transmitted through nasal secretions or saliva or other secretions from the mouth with prolonged exposure, although the exact mode of transmission of Mycobacteriumleprae has not yet been established.

Not all people who are infected with the bacterium develop leprosy, as only 5-10% of the population is susceptible to infection for immunological reasons.

Treatment of leprosy

The main method of treatment is drug therapy. Compliance with the full course of the prescribed therapy is of particular importance for successful treatment.

Patients should be taught to monitor their hands and feet for possible injuries that may go unnoticed due to loss of sensation. Ulcers and tissue damage can lead to skin infections and other diseases.

In leprosy, it is recommended to be careful with shoes to avoid injury to the skin and the formation of wounds.

The World Health Organization recommends the treatment of leprosy with three drugs: dapsone, rifampicin and clofazim.

Depending on the type of disease, the course of treatment lasts between 6 and 12 months. The multi-drug therapy recommended by the WHO ensures the treatment of the disease and protects the patient from complications, but the therapy must be started in the early stages of leprosy.

Borderline leprosy is treated with 12 months of daily rifampicin and dapsone therapy. The more aggressive form – the lepopromatosis, is treated with a 24-month course of daily rifampicin, dapsone and clofamycin.

Prevention

Prevention of leprosy is essential because this infectious disease can have serious consequences for human health.

Although there is no established standard for preventing leprosy and no vaccine is available that provides protection against all types of leprosy, scientific research and prevention measures continue to be actively researched and developed.

A recent study has revealed interesting results in the fight against leprosy. According to this scientific information, the application of a single dose of rimfapicin is effective in 57% of cases in contact with people who have already been diagnosed with leprosy.

This is an important step forward in the development of methods for the prevention of this disease and may represent a reliable way to reduce the risk of infection by contact with infected persons.

The next important point to consider in the context of leprosy prevention is the BCG (Bacille Calmette-Guérin) vaccine. This vaccine, which is mainly used to prevent tuberculosis, may also provide some degree of protection against various types of leprosy.

This is due to the fact that the causative agent of leprosy, Mycobacterium leprae, and the tubercle bacillus are similar in some aspects. Research shows that the BCG vaccine can help improve the immune system and reduce the risk of leprosy in some individuals.

It is important to keep in mind that the BCG vaccine is not an ideal method of preventing leprosy and does not provide a 100% guarantee of protection. Moreover, its effectiveness may vary depending on geographic and ethnic factors, as well as the degree of exposure of the individual to the potential risk.

In view of the lack of standard methods of prevention and the lack of an ideal vaccine, it is important to continue with a concerted effort to research and develop new strategies for the prevention of leprosy.

This includes improving diagnosis and early detection of the disease, educational programs to increase public awareness, and intensive infection control measures in persons diagnosed with leprosy.

These efforts are essential to reducing the burden of leprosy and improving the quality of life of those affected.

Timely reaction and consultation with a specialized medical person can be essential for the correct treatment of this unpleasant disease.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also
Close
Back to top button