A note on Leprosy
Leprosy is commonly referred to as Hansen’s disease (HD). Leprosy is considered as a disease of ancient origin but it is prevalent even now. This chronic disease is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis. Only if the general public understands clearly about this disease, it can be controlled. Leprosy should be detected as early as possible to prevent the occurrence of irreversible lesions. In early stages, medications are enough to restore back the affected person to normal condition.
Leprosy is categorized into two types namely Tuberculoid Leprosy (TT) and Lepromatous Leprosy (LL). In tuberculoid type, the earliest symptom is the loss of sensation, and hair on a patch of skin. The symptom is an early alert and the affected person should consult the doctor immediately. This type can be suspected when a person gets into contact with a leper.
In case of lepromatous leprosy the symptoms are visible skin marks, thickening and damage of skin. If the condition gets worse, perforation of nasal septum may occur.
Steps to be taken
If any symptom is observed or leprosy is suspected, then confirm by taking a biopsy or smear of the skin lesion for demonstrating Mycobacterium leprae. It’s also better to take other tests such as nerve biopsy, and lepromin skin test. Lepromin skin test is done to determine the type of leprosy.
You need not get panic if you or your family member is identified for leprosy. As said before it can be cured completely, if detected in early stages. Another point is that, leprosy gets transmitted only on long contact with the affected person.