Tropical infectious disease – leprosy

Leprosy (Hansen’s disease) is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis. It is divided into the lepromatous (lepra lepromatosa tuberosa) and tuberculoid form (lepra tuberculoides). Leprosy can affect occur at any age but the highest incidence is observed in the third decade of life. Currently, the largest endemic foci of leprosy are located in South-East Asia, South America and Central Africa. The highest incidence is reported in India, Brazil, Nepal, Mozambique and Angola. In several endemic countries, especially in India and Brazil, leprosy is still a threat to public health.
Aim: The aim of the paper is to acquaint the readers with and raise their awareness of public health risks
connected with leprosy.
Material and method: The present review paper is based on publications and reports of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Conclusions: People should be aware of health threats associated with leprosy. We have to help the affected and at the same time protect ourselves, since in the times of globalization and worldwide human migrations leprosy can suddenly emerge close to where we live.

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Vincent Pol University in Lublin