Leprosy signs and symptoms, Treatment. (Hansen's Disease)

The first noticeable sign of leprosy is often the development of pale or pink coloured patches of skin, that may be insensitive to temperature or pain.
Formication - is the feeling of insects crawling across or underneath your skin.
Erythema of skin lesions present, Reddish skin patches with sensory loss.
Inflammation due to reactions leading to deformity and paralysis.
Ulceration of lesions on the skin.
An infected person may also experience muscle weakness and poor eyesight.
Infection can lead to damage of the nerves, respiratory tract, skin, and eyes. This nerve damage may result in a lack of ability to feel pain.
which can lead to the loss of parts of a person's extremities, from repeated injuries or infection through unnoticed wounds.
Secondary infections, (additional bacterial or viral infections). can result in tissue loss, causing fingers and toes to become shortened and deformed, as cartilage is absorbed into the body.

Leprosy has historically been associated with social stigma.
Since ancient times leprosy instilled the practice of fear and avoidance in many societies because of the associated physical disfigurement and lack of understanding behind its cause.
But now, Leprosy is curable disease.
Leprosy is caused by Bacteria Mycobacterium leprae or Mycobacterium lepromatosis.

Leprosy transmission is not completely understood, but it is believed to spread through respiratory means.
Untreated individuals with lepromatous infections usually contain many bacilli.
The general mode of dissemination, once within the body, starts at the upper respiratory tract. Reports indicate that host infection can potentially occur through broken skin as well.
Leprosy symptoms may begin within one year, but, for some people, symptoms may take 20 years or more to occur.
Leprosy is spread between people, although extensive contact is necessary. Leprosy has a low pathogenicity, and 95% of people who contract M. leprae do not develop the disease.
Genetic factors and immune function play a role in how easily a person catches the disease. Leprosy does not spread during pregnancy to the unborn child or through sexual contact.
M. leprae's affinity for peripheral nerve cells, preferentially attacking Schwann cells , causes nerve demyelination and loss of axonal conductance, which presents clinically as numbness.
Older members of society are more prone to risk in the acquisition of leprosy. Some studies show a bimodal relationship with age. Elevated risk showed between 5 to 15 and continued risk after 30.
Following the suppression of the immune system, there is an increased chance of acquiring this infection.

There are two main types of the disease – paucibacillary and multibacillary.
which differ in the number of bacteria present.
A person with paucibacillary disease has five or fewer poorly-pigmented, numb skin patches.
while a person with multibacillary disease has more than five skin patches.
The diagnosis is confirmed by finding acid-fast bacilli in a biopsy of the skin.
Leprosy is curable with multidrug therapy. Treatment of paucibacillary leprosy is with the medications dapsone, rifampicin, and clofazimine for six months. Treatment for multibacillary leprosy uses the same medications for 12 months.
Hansen's Disease

Tom Bradley
Child with Leprosy symptoms
By B.jehle - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27098744
By Libell hanna - Own work, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1813188
By https://www.myupchar.com/en - https://www.myupchar.com/en/disease/bronchitis, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=83457561

By OpenStax - https://cnx.org/contents/[email protected]:fEI3C8Ot@10/Preface, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30147917
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