World Leprosy Eradication Day – 28 January 2018

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World Leprosy Eradication Day is celebrated every year on last Sunday of the January month, which was started in 1954.

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The aim of the day is to generate awareness about leprosy (Hansen’s Disease) to help people living with the disease and to educate people who take care of people suffering from the disease.

This is the day when people across the world stand in support of those who are suffering from the disease and raise funds to help out people living with leprosy.

What is Leprosy?

Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease (HD), which is a long-term infection caused by the bacterium known as Mycobacterium leprae or Mycobacterium lepromatosis.

Usually, the infections are without signs and typically remain for 5 to 20 years.

Symptoms that develop during leprosy include granulomas of the nerves, respiratory tract, eyes, and skin.

The disease results in a lack of ability to feel pain, so the loss of parts of extremities due to returned injuries or infection due to unseen wounds.

Facts Related to Leprosy:

  • It is a gradually developing, progressive disease that damages the nervous system and the skin.
  • Leprosy is caused by an infection with Mycobacterium lepromatosis or Mycobacterium leprae bacteria.
  • Early symptoms begin in cooler areas of the body and loss of sensation.
  • Signs of leprosy include skin lesions of hypopigmented macules like flat, pale areas of skin, painless ulcers, and eye
  • damage. Its sign also includes large ulcerations, skin nodules, loss of digits and facial disfigurement.
  • Susceptibility to getting the disease may be due to certain human genes.
  • Antibiotics are used for the treatment of leprosy.

Causes of Leprosy:

The disease is caused by bacterium Mycobacterium leprae or M. leprae. The organisms cannot be cultured on the artificial media, and also take an extremely long time to reproduce inside of cells.

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The role of antibodies that are used for the treatment of leprosy is still under investigation.

Risk Factors Associated With Leprosy:

People at highest risk are those are in constant physical contact with infected people.
There is also evidence of genetic defects in the immune system that may cause people to be more likely to become infected with the disease.

Leprosy Early Symptoms and Signs:

There are several signs and symptoms of leprosy including;

  • Numbness
  • Loss of temperature sensation
  • Reduction in touch sensation
  • Needles and pins sensations
  • Joint pain
  • Nerve injury
  • Weight loss
  • Ulcers
  • Skin Lesions
  • Hair loss

Treatment for Leprosy:

In the majority of cases, leprosy is treated with antibiotics. Recommendation of antibiotics, their dosages, and duration of administration are based on the classification or form of the disease.

Antibiotics can treat leprosy with little or no extra effects on the patient.

Steroid medications are used to minimize the pain and acute inflammation of patient with leprosy.

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