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Transcript of Hansen's Disease
The bacteria that cause leprosy grows very slowly. It can take u to 2-10 years before signs and symptoms appear.
Symptoms mainly affect the skin, nerves, and mucous membranes. Symptoms may include Skin lesions that may be faded/discolored, growths on the skin, severe pain, numbness on affected areas of the skin, muscle weakness or paralysis.
In 1873 Dr. Armauer Hansen of Norway was the first to see the leprosy germ under a microscope. It was not hereditary, a curse, or from sin. Because of Dr. Hansen’s work, leprosy is also called Hansen’s disease.
Leprosy can be present at any age. Up to 20 percent of leprosy cases occur before the age of 10. For kids, leprosy occurs equally in males and females. In adults, the disease is twice as common in males as females.
Some people who get leprosy are left with some residual disabilities after the infection has been cured. The eyes, hands and feet are the parts mostly affected. Many also face long-term problems within their family and community because they had leprosy. Rehabilitation involves a whole range of interventions that try to restore the person affected to as normal a life as possible.
Evidence of leprosy has been found in ancient skeletons in Western Europe more than 200 years ago. It became a common disease in Europe in medieval times. The disease died out in most of Europe for unknown reasons more than 200 years ago.
King Baldwin IV of Jerusalem
Robert the Bruce, King of Scots
Vietnamese poet Han Mac Tu
Otani Yoshitsugu, a Japanese daimyo
Robert Vincent Giglio III
Saint Damien of Molokai
People with leprosy
There are three types of leprosy.
Tuberculoid- A mild, less severe form of leprosy.
Lepromatous- A more severe form of the disease.
Borderline- People with this type of leprosy have symptoms of both tuberculoid and lepromatous.
Leprosy itself does not cause death but the prologed affects can lead to death. People with the disease have a 4x higher chance of death than the general population.
In the US there are approximately 6,500 cases of leprosy, 90 percent of which are in immigrants. The number of cases with active disease and requiring drug treatment is 600. There are 200 to 250 new leprosy cases reported each year. Most of th cases are found in the states of Hawaii, Louisiana, Florida, New York,
Puerto Rico, California, and Texas.
Hansen's disease is easily treatable. It’s treated for 6 months to 2 years with a combination of antibiotics. Until the late 1940s, leprosy doctors treated patients by injecting them with oil from the chaulmoogra nut which was very painful. Then scientists on the island of Malta in the 1970s made an effective combination of drugs to treat leprosy.