How Does Leprosy Spread?


3 Answers

Linda Taulbee Profile
Linda Taulbee answered
Leprosy is not very contagious. It can be spread when an untreated infected person coughs or sneezes (but not by sexual contact or pregnancy). Approximately 95% of the population have natural immunity to this disease. Historically, people with leprosy were sent to remote islands in special hospitals, which were called "lepers colonies." But it is now known that people with leprosy who are treated with medication do not need to be isolated from the general population.

Leprosy has been curable since 1981 when the World Health Organization recommended a 6 month to a year or more treatment of three antibiotics - dapsone, rifampin, and clofazimine. During this long course of treatment, the body may react to the dead bacteria with pain and swelling in the nerves and skin, which can be treated with pain medication, predisone, or thalidomide (under special conditions).

Before this treatment was available, having leprosy meant life-long pain and suffering and being shunned by society. These days good skin care and having today's antibiotics available will prevent leprosy from destroying the body. It is hoped that perhaps eventually a vaccine will be available in the future to eliminate this disease entirely.
Stuti Ahuja Profile
Stuti Ahuja answered
Leprosy is a chronic bacterial disease which is usually affects the areas of skin, nerves in the hands and feet and in some cases the lining of the nose. It is a rare disease. It is still not very clear as to how leprosy is spread but it is obvious that it happens only with close and prolonged contact.

The germ can possibly enter the body through the nose and through some opening in the skin. The lepromatous germs can spread in the air though the nasal discharge of an untreated patient.

However, once the treatment has been started, the person will not infect the other after 3 months. The best way to prevent the germ from spreading is early diagnosis and treatment of people who are infected.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered Wiki answers says:
"The bacteria Microbacterum leprae causes leprosy also called Hansen's Disease.

A person cannot contract Hansen's Disease unless he or she is genetically susceptible to the infection. More than 90% of the human population is naturally resistant to this infection.

For those who are susceptible to infection; it is believed they acquired the disease by inhaling infected respiratory droplets spread from another infected person.
While this may be one way in which leprosy is spread, more than 50 percent of the people who develop leprosy have no confirmed contact with another infected person."

eMedTV has this additional information:
Despite first discovering Mycobacterium leprae (the bacteria that causes leprosy) in 1873, leprosy research scientists still do not completely understand how leprosy is spread.

Most scientists believe that leprosy can be spread from person to person in infected respiratory droplets. While this may be one way in which leprosy is spread, more than 50 percent of the people who develop leprosy have no confirmed contact with an infected person. Factors that may influence how leprosy is spread include:

Environmental conditions
The degree of susceptibility of the person
The extent of exposure.

Answer Question