Skip Navigation
Global Health Snapshot - Neglected Tropical Diseases


Global Health Snapshot: Neglected Tropical Diseases

Leprosy

LeprosyA chronic bacterial infection caused by Mycobacterium leprae and transmitted by droplets from the nose and mouth. The pathogen has an incubation period of about five years.

Symptoms: Mild skin lesions. Untreated, leprosy can cause severe and disfiguring skin lesions and permanent damage to nerves, upper respiratory tract and eyes.

Treatment: Multidrug therapy

Prevention: Early diagnosis and treatment of infected individuals

Location: Mainly Asia and Africa

Prevalence: 211,903 registered cases worldwide (2009)

Trending: New cases dropped 4 percent between 2007 and 2008.

Observation: Some new leprosy cases in China appear to have been transmitted via infected water or soil, not by close contact with leprosy patients-—the traditional route.

Early Detection: “Our research focuses on developing a diagnostic test to detect the disease early enough and start treatment before the nerve-damaging lesions occur.”

Ying Zhang, an expert on drug-resistant TB, is conducting leprosy research in southern China, with Huan-Ying Li, MD, MPH, ’52.

Comments

This forum is closed
  • Phyllis Sommer

    Chicago,Illinois 05/13/2011 11:21:40 AM

    Remember Chlamydia T. is a sexually transmitted disease and any prevention & teaching needs to include that fact. Condoms are number one prevention strategy. If people are warned about infertility as result of Chlamydia,they may be more amenable to condom use since fertility is highly valued in those countries.

  • Dr. B N Patnaik

    India 01/24/2012 02:23:35 AM

    I would like to know more about your C.trachomatis trail........I am preparing documents for clinical trailof Oral HPV vaccine in India .

Read about our policy on comments to magazine articles.

design element
Online Extras

Malaria History

Tobacco Fighter

Joanna Cohen, director of the Institute for Global Tobacco Control, explains how to make a great cigarette warning label.

Watch Now

Talk to Us

Amazed? Enthralled? Disappointed? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts on articles and your ideas for new stories:

Download the PDF

Get a copy of all Departments articles in PDF format. Read stories offline, optimized for printing.

Download Now (2.5MB)