Disease: Hansen’s disease (Leprosy)
Causative Agent: Mycobacterium leprae
Morphology: This bacterium is acid-fast and rod-shaped, about 1-8 µm x 0.2-0.5 µm in size. They are granulated rods that are thin and slightly curved.
Transmission: This disease is caused by a bacterial infection. It is spread from person to person, through nasal droplets and cough secretions of mucus. If droplets or mucus containing the bacteria is ingested one may become ill with this disease.
Diagnosis: A diagnosis of this disease relies on the patient to come to a health center if they are showing signs or symptoms of the disease. The staff should be able to tell the early signs of leprosy, in accordance to whether or not the person has painless wounds or lesions, enlarged nerves, hypo-pigmented patches, or painless, swelling lumps on the skin.
Incubation: 5-20 years
Symptoms: Symptoms include skin lesions that are pale or discolored. Thick, dry skin containing growths. Severe pain or numbness where affected areas are located. Numbness in the hands and feet, trouble seeing, and the disease may lead to blindness. Nose bleeds and ulcers or sores on the bottom of feet are also common.
Recovery: Depending on treatment and the extremeness of the disease the recovery period could be anywhere from 1-2 years.
Immunity: Over 90% of the human population.
Treatment: Treated with Multidrug Therapy. A combination of antibiotics, Dapsone, Rifampin, and Clofazimine. Clarithromycin, Ofloxacin.
Other: The multidrug treatment of Hansen’s disease has been made free of charge to those affected since 1995. Over 17 million people have been treated for leprosy in the past few decades.