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Published On: Mon, Nov 11th, 2013

Cambodia reports a resurgence of leprosy

Since the early 2000s, the number of leprosy cases in Cambodia started to decrease, but infections have increased again in recent years, reports The Cambodia Daily Saturday.

Leprosy Image/CDC

Leprosy
Image/CDC

Harald Schmid de Gruneck, head of mission of the Comite International de l’Ordre de Malte (CIOMAL) said, “In 2002, there were some 714 cases [of leprosy] and then it went down, down, down…and in 2010 we had 252 new cases. We asked if the situation is actually improving because there are fewer cases, or because due to a lack of resources and means the cases are not found.”

In 2012, that number had went back up to 475 cases.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), leprosy, or Hansen’s disease, is caused by Mycobacterium leprae, a bacillus that multiplies very slowly and mainly affects the skin, nerves, and mucous membranes.

Evidence suggests that the bacteria that cause Hansen’s disease can spread from person to person. This might happen when someone with the disease coughs or sneezes. This can release droplets into the air. It might also happen if you are exposed to other nasal fluids (also known as secretions). Droplets and other secretions can contain the bacteria that cause Hansen’s disease.

The bacteria that cause Hansen’s disease grow very slowly. It may take 2-10 years before signs and symptoms appear.

Symptoms mainly affect the skin, nerves, and mucous membranes (the soft, moist areas just inside the body’s openings).

In 2008, Brazil, India, and Indonesia had 77% of all cases reported to the World Health Organization (WHO). Over 94% of all reported cases are reported from 17 countries.

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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. Cambodia reports a resurgence of leprosy | biblebabe778's Blog says:

    […] http://www.theglobaldispatch.com/cambodia-reports-a-resurgence-of-leprosy-82798/ […]

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