Leprosy is a chronic bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae. Leprosy essentially affects the lining of the nose and the upper respiratory tract. If Leprosy is not treated, it can cause severe disfigurement and considerable disability. The most common symptoms of Leprosy include muscle weakness, numbness in the hands, feet and legs and skin lesions.
HOW IS LEPROSY DIAGNOSED?
In addition to a skin biopsy, a general physician would perform a skin smear test in order to confirm the diagnosis of this disease.
HOW IS LEPROSY TREATED?
Treatment is possible with leprosy and antibiotics are the best recommended options. The treatment is long-term though the nerve damage remains irreversible. Along with antibiotics, leprosy patients are also given medicines like thalidomide, which could be risky for people planning a baby in the future.
DID YOU KNOW?
Leprosy is one of the oldest diseases in recorded history.