Leprosy, now known as leprosy, is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium leprae. It can infect nerves, skin, eyes and mucous membranes. Once thought to be a highly contagious disease, in reality it requires prolonged contact with an affected person to catch up. It has aerosol penetration. Over 2 million people worldwide suffer from this disease.
95% of people are naturally immune to this disease. It affects people with weakened immune systems.
Illness-related signs and symptoms
– Skin nodule formation.
-thick and dry skin
– Painless ulcers on the soles of the feet or lumps on the face.
-Discolored spots on the skin
– Loss of eyebrows and eyelashes.
– Numbness of affected areas of the skin.
– muscle weakness
-If the facial nerve is affected, it can lead to eye problems and even blindness.
Symptoms of advanced leprosy
– Weak hands or feet
-Shortened toes and fingers
– Chronic ulcers on the soles of the feet
・Damage to the nasal septum
Contrary to the myth that diseases cannot be cured, they can be cured and treated. It is a combination therapy in which two to three antibiotics are prescribed at the same time. The duration of treatment is 1-2 years. If the patient is on MDT for 72 hours, the disease becomes non-infectious and the disease clears when the prescribed treatment is completed.
If left untreated, the disease can lead to paralysis, lameness, corneal ulcers, or blindness. I can not do it. Therefore, it is important for early detection of the disease, and it is advisable to seek treatment as soon as possible, before permanent nerve damage occurs.
stigma associated with disease
Because it is a 4000-year-old disease, it is surrounded by many myths, such as that it is a disease sent by God in sin, that it no longer exists, that it cannot be cured, that it only affects the elderly. , infected people should be quarantined and quarantined. It is highly contagious and causes the fingers and toes to fall off. To eradicate the disease, we need to dispel these misconceptions and raise awareness based on the reality of the disease.
The fact is that it is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium leprae, a slow-growing bacterium whose incubation period is five years, and that leprosy still exists and is a treatable disease that affects people of all ages. , the affected person can lead a normal life, and 72 hours after MDT, the person is no longer contagious. In advanced leprosy, the loss of pain sensation can unknowingly lead to repeated injuries, leading to infection and tissue loss. This can be prevented with timely diagnosis and treatment.
Effects of leprosy on mental health
Because the disease is surrounded by stigma and society tends to discriminate against those infected. It takes a toll on the mental health of patients and their families. The symptoms can also bring a lot of shame to those affected. Patients have been found to exhibit depressive disorders, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. It causes great psychological distress to the patient. It leads to low self-esteem, fear, sadness, anger, and a poor quality of life.
World Leprosy Day is celebrated on the last Sunday of January each year to raise awareness that the disease is not something to be ashamed of and is completely curable. We need to break stigma and stop discrimination. As a society, we need to come forward and help those who are suffering.
The above views are the author’s own.
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