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Published On: Sat, Nov 9th, 2013

India: Assam State reports more than 600 leprosy cases in first nine months

The northeastern Indian state of Assam has recorded some 616 cases of the disfiguring disease, leprosy in the first nine months of 2013, causing concern of reemergence in the area, according to India TV News report Friday.

Leprosy Image/CDC

Leprosy
Image/CDC

In addition to the cases in Assam, several of it’s “sister states” are reporting cases–Nagaland (32), Tripura (23), Sikkim (20), Mizoram (18), Arunachal Pradesh (17), Meghalaya (15) and Manipur (six).

“It is a concern that the disease is re-emerging in certain pockets in the north east,” Dr C M Agrawal, Deputy Director General (Lep), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae, an acid-fast, rod-shaped bacillus. The disease mainly affects the skin, the peripheral nerves, mucosa of the upper respiratory tract and also the eyes.

Official figures show that almost 182,000 people, mainly in Asia and Africa, were affected at the beginning of 2012, with approximately 219,000 new cases reported during 2011.

M. leprae multiplies very slowly and the incubation period of the disease is about five years. Symptoms can take as long as 20 years to appear.

Related story: India: Two reports of humans with rabies biting other people

Leprosy is not highly infectious. It is transmitted via droplets, from the nose and mouth, during close and frequent contacts with untreated cases.

Untreated, leprosy can cause progressive and permanent damage to the skin, nerves, limbs and eyes.

Early diagnosis and treatment with multidrug therapy (MDT) remain the key elements in eliminating the disease as a public health concern.

Related story: Indian boy vomits out 4 live Fasciolopsis buski flukes according to case report

Leprosy is curable and treatment provided in the early stages averts disability.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. So close yet so far! | The Awakening says:

    […] India: Assam State reports more than 600 leprosy cases in first nine months […]

  2. India: Assam State reports more than 600 leprosy ... - The Global Dispatch | Aggregated News says:

    […] Source: Google News Assam – Click the link to read the full news […]

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