Leprosy Prevention and Control Week

Manila Bulletin, February 15, 2010 | Go to article overview

Leprosy Prevention and Control Week


Pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 467, the third week of February of every year has been declared as Leprosy Prevention and Control Week. The observance aims to deepen public awareness on the disease, its prevention, and treatment.Leprosy, also called Hansen’s disease is an infectious disease characterized by disfiguring skin lesions, peripheral nerve damage, and progressive debilitation. It is common in countries with tropical and subtropical climates. It is estimated that more than 213,000 people in Asia and Africaare infected with the disease.Leprosy is caused by the organism Microbacteriumeprae, a rod-shaped, acid-fast bacillus. It multiplies very slowly and has a long incubation period. Symptoms can take as long as 20 years to appear. In most cases, children more than adults are at risk to the disease. The transmission of the disease is airborne, where a person can inhale droplets or spray from coughing and sneezing of untreated cases.The symptoms to watch for in leprosy are skin lesions which are lighter than the normal skin and do not heal for months; numbness in the hands, arms, feet, and legs; and muscle weakness. …

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