Hansen’s disease, also known as leprosy, is an infection caused by the slowly growing bacterium Mycobacterium leprae. The cause of leprosy due to this bacterium, will greatly affect the nerves, skin, eyes, to the lining of the nose. With early diagnosis and treatment, this disease can be cured.
Leprosy has existed since ancient times, and people even helped isolate and avoid lepers because this disease is very difficult to understand. Launching from the clevelandclinic.org page, the cause of leprosy can be treated with effective and appropriate treatment, so patients do not need to isolate themselves.
Launching from the cdc.gov page, leprosy was once feared as a highly contagious and deadly disease. But for now, this disease cannot spread easily and the treatment is also very effective. The cause of leprosy which is caused by this bacteria, if not treated and get proper treatment, it will trigger nerve damage which can lead to paralysis and even blindness.
Leprosy is an infection caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium leprae. The growth of this bacterium is also very slow, and it can take up to 20 years for signs of infection to develop.
This disease greatly affects the nerves, skin, eyes, and even the lining of the nose. Please note that these bacteria can attack the nervous system, which triggers swelling under the skin.
Launching from the cdc.gov page, every year approximately 150 people in the United States and 250,000 other around the world are also affected by the disease. Even in the past, Hansen’s disease or better known as leprosy was feared as a contagious disease.
But for now, there is still a lot of stigma and prejudice about this disease, so that people with leprosy are often discriminated against in many places. Therefore, ongoing commitments to combat this bad stigma, could be through education in increasing access to treatment leading to a world free from this fully treatable disease.
However, it should be noted that if leprosy is not treated immediately, it can trigger nerve damage which can lead to paralysis of the hands and feet. In very advanced cases, the person with leprosy may experience multiple injuries due to lack of sensation, and eventually the body may reabsorb the affected fingers over time, resulting in the loss of toes and fingers.
Therefore, early diagnosis and treatment can usually prevent disability caused by the disease. People suffering from leprosy can continue to work and lead active lives. Once treatment is started, the person is no longer contagious. However, it is very important to complete the entire course of treatment as directed by the doctor.
1. Please note that when you come into close contact with the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae, it can cause leprosy.
2. When touching animals that spread leprosy bacteria, such as armadillos, the possibility of getting leprosy is also high.
3. Living in or visiting a leprosy endemic area
4. Have disorders of the immune system
It should be understood that although leprosy is not very contagious, it can spread from person to person. According to the same source, experts do not fully understand how the disease spreads from one person to another, but the bacteria is very likely to be transmitted through airborne droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. When bacteria are released into the environment, other people can breathe them in.
Leprosy cannot be transmitted through hugs, touching hands, sitting next to an infected person or even sexual contact. Mycobacterium leprae bacteria grow only on living hosts, including certain types of armadillos. Research has even confirmed that a species of armadillo native to the southern United States and Mexico can carry leprosy and spread it to humans.
a. Symptoms of Leprosy
The following are the main symptoms of leprosy that can affect the skin, nerves, and mucous membranes are:
– Large, discolored lesions on a person’s chest
– Discolored patches of skin
– Growths (nodules) on the skin
– Thick, stiff or dry skin
– Painless boils on the soles of the feet
– Loss of eyebrows or eyelashes
– Muscle weakness or paralysis (especially in the hands and feet)
– Nerve enlargement (especially around the elbows and knees and on the sides of the neck)
– Eye problems that can lead to blindness (when the facial nerve is affected)
– Nasal congestion
– Having nosebleeds
– Burning sensation on the skin
b. Types of Leprosy
– Tuberculoid leprosy
A person with this type of leprosy usually has mild symptoms, and only develops a few sores. Usually because it has a good immune response. Tuberculoid leprosy is also called paucibacillary leprosy.
– Lepromatous leprosy
People with this type of leprosy have sores and lesions that are widespread, affecting nerves, skin and organs. With lepromatous leprosy, the immune response is poor and the disease is more contagious. Lepromatous leprosy is also called multibacillary leprosy.
– Border leprosy
This type of leprosy involves symptoms of tuberculoid leprosy and lepromatous leprosy. Borderline leprosy is also called dimorphic leprosy.
How to Treat Leprosy
Leprosy is usually treated with a combination of antibiotics. Usually, 2 or 3 antibiotics are used at the same time. With a drug therapy strategy that is carried out, it will greatly help prevent the development of antibiotic resistance by bacteria, which may occur due to the length of treatment.
Kerita suffers from leprosy, so tell your doctor if you experience numbness or loss of feeling in certain body parts or patches on the skin. This health condition may be caused by nerve damage due to bacterial infection that causes leprosy. When you are numb and feeling lost, take care to prevent possible injuries, such as burns and cuts.
How to treat this disease can also be done, by taking antibiotics until the doctor says your treatment is complete. If you stop early, then the bacteria may start growing again and you may get sick again. Antibiotics used during treatment will kill the bacteria that cause leprosy.
However, treatment can cure the disease and prevent it from getting worse, and does not reverse any nerve damage or physical disability that may have occurred before diagnosis. Therefore, by diagnosing the disease as early as possible, there will be no permanent nerve damage.