Global & Disaster Medicine

Mumbai: 362 new leprosy cases were reported between April and December 2018 while 326 cases were found between April 2017 and March 2018.

Hindustan Times

“…..In 2005, the Indian government declared the elimination of leprosy from the country because the number of cases had come down to less than one per 1,000 people. However, in the intervening years, new cases have been detected regularly and the Union health ministry’s deadline to eliminate the disease has been on a continuous shift.….”

WHO Key facts

  • Leprosy is a chronic disease caused by a bacillus, Mycobacterium leprae.
  • M. leprae multiplies slowly and the incubation period of the disease, on average, is 5 years. In some cases, symptoms may occur within 1 year but can also take as long as 20 years to occur.
  • The disease mainly affects the skin, the peripheral nerves, mucosa of the upper respiratory tract, and also the eyes.
  • Leprosy is curable with multidrug therapy (MDT).
  • Leprosy is transmitted via droplets, from the nose and mouth, during close and frequent contacts with untreated cases.
  • Untreated, leprosy can cause progressive and permanent damage to the skin, nerves, limbs, and eyes.
  • There were 216 108 new leprosy cases registered globally in 2016, according to official figures from 145 countries from the 6 WHO Regions.
  • Based on 173 358 cases at the end of 2016, prevalence rate corresponds to 0.29/10,000.


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