There is leprosy in these times

It is a pathology that has plagued the human race for millennia, and yet, although many people may be surprised by it, it is still present.

According to the latest figures from the WHO (WHO) in 2019, a total of 202,185 new cases of leprosy or Hansen’s pathology were detected in 120 territories around the world.

However, due to the monumental stigma that has historically attached to it, there could be several more that went undiagnosed and untreated.

Why was it so difficult to remove, or even delete, this age-old infection?

“Leprosy is a chronic pathology that in its early stages is rather silent and that is not easy to identify or diagnose,” doctor Santiago Nicholls, regional adviser to the Department of Neglected Infectious Pathologies of the Pan American Organization for Disease Control and Prevention, told BBC Mundo. Health (PAHO).

“And it’s difficult to estimate, yet there should be many more people remaining undiagnosed on the planet,” he adds.

“Biblical Curse”

Leprosy is caused by the bacillus Mycobacterium leprae, which is transmitted by droplets from the nose and mouth of infected individuals.

The infection mainly damages the peripheral nerves and the dermis, and the patient can have serious complications such as disfigurement, deformities and disability, either due to neurological disease or blindness.

Early diagnosis and convenient and convenient procedure are 2 main pillars to control the pathology.

However, leprosy is still a pathology misunderstood by society, the professionals emphasize.

People with leprosy continue to be feared in parts of the world and old perceptions of the disorder as a “biblical curse” persist.

“There is a lot of ignorance and a lot of prejudice,” says the doctor Nicholls.

“Since it is associated with that stigma that comes from biblical times and from the era in which patients were admitted to the famous leper colonies to isolate them from society, due to the initiative, which has already been fully reassessed, that they were a risk to society and could infect them,” he adds.

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