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Why leprosy is referred to as living death?
27 Jan' 21

Why leprosy is referred to as living death?

 

 

What exactly is leprosy?

Leprosy is a contagious disease that causes disfiguring skin sores and nerve damage in the arms, legs, and other regions of the body. Leprosy has been around since the dawn of time. On every continent, people have been affected by breakouts.  

However, sometimes known as Hanson's sickness is not a particularly contagious condition. You can only get it if you come into close and repeated contact with a leprosy-infected person's nose and mouth droplets. Children are more susceptible to leprosy than adults.  

 

What Is the Cause of Leprosy?

Mycobacterium leprae, a slow-growing kind of bacteria, causes leprosy (M. leprae). After the scientist who discovered M. leprae in 1873, leprosy is also known as Hansen's illness. 

 

Symptoms of Leprosy  

Leprosy primarily affects your skin and peripheral nerves, which are located outside of your brain and spinal cord. Your eyes and the delicate tissue lining the inside of your nose may also be affected.

Leprosy is characterized by disfiguring skin lesions, lumps, or bumps that persist for several weeks or months. The lesions on the skin are light in hue.   

Damage to the nerves can result in: 

  • Arms and legs lose their sensation  
  • Muscle deterioration  
  • The epidermis and peripheral nerves, which are located outside of the brain and spinal cord, are the primary targets of leprosy. Some people do not show symptoms until they are 20 years old. 

Types   

The amount and type of skin lesions you have determine whether you have leprosy. The symptoms and treatment choices are determined by the type of leprosy. The types are as follows:  

  

Tuberculoid. Leprosy is milder and less severe. Only one or a few areas of flat, pale-colored skin are present in people with this kind (paucibacillary leprosy). Because of nerve injury beneath the skin, the affected area may feel numb. Tuberculoid leprosy is a less contagious form of leprosy.  

Lepromatous. The condition has worsened. Skin lumps and rashes, numbness, and muscle weakness are among symptoms (multibacillary leprosy.It's also possible that the nose, kidneys, and male reproductive organs will be impacted. It's more contagious than tuberculosis. 

Borderline. This type of leprosy has symptoms that are similar to both tuberculoid and lepromatous leprosy.  

 

Read more Can tetanus kill you ?

 

Doctors may also use the following classification:  

  •  A single ailment paucibacillary (SLPB): There is only one lesion.  
  • Two to five paucibacillary (PB) lesions  
  • Multibacillary (MB) is an abbreviation for multibacillary bacteria. a total of six lesions 

Diagnosis of Leprosy 

If you have a skin sore that you think might be leprosy, your doctor will take a small sample and send it to a lab for testing. A skin biopsy is a medical term for this procedure. A skin smear test may also be performed by your doctor. There will be no bacteria in the test results if you have paucibacillary leprosy. There will be if you have multibacillary leprosy.  To determine which type of leprosy you have, you may need a lepromin skin test. A little amount of dormant leprosy-causing bacteria will be injected just beneath the skin of your forearm for this test. They'll inspect the place where you had the shot three days later and again 28 days later to see if you've had a reaction. 

 

Treatment

The type of leprosy you have determines your treatment options. The infection is treated with antibiotics. Long-term treatment is frequently recommended by doctors, ranging from 6 months to a year. If you have leprosy that is severe, you may need to take antibiotics for a longer period of time. Antibiotics are unable to repair the nerve damage caused by leprosy. 

Multidrug therapy (MDT) is a typical leprosy treatment that includes antibiotics and other medications. 

 

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