HANSEN’S DISEASE

HANSEN’S DISEASE

Hansen’s disease or “Leprosy” is a chronic infectious disease. It’s a kind of disease that can affect different parts of the body. This condition has commonly known since ancient times. Hansen’s disease can affect a person’s:

  • Nerves
  • Skin
  • Eyes
  • The lining of the nose

This bacteria attack the nerve that leads the skin to swollen. This condition may lead a person loses the ability to touch. This may also lead to sudden injuries such as burns and cuts. The affected area may lead the skin to change its color.

Hansen’s disease may also cause the following:

  • Disfiguring of the skin sores.
  • Nerve damage in the arms, legs, and areas in the body.

Causes

Hansen’s disease is a condition caused by a bacteria “Mycobacterium Leprae”. It’s a slow-growing rod-shaped that affects the different areas in the body. This disease may transmit to other people by:

  • When a person with this disease coughs without covering his mouth.
  • A person sneezes without a tissue.
  • When a person breathes in the droplets that contain the bacteria.
  • Having a close contact with a person with this disease.

 

Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms may occur in different parts of the body. These are the following:

Symptoms that may occur in the Skin:

  • Nodules on the skin
  • Loss of eyebrows and lashes
  • Painless lumps on the face and earlobes
  • Thick and dry skin
  • Discolored patches on the skin

Symptoms that occur in the Nerve:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness on the affected skin areas
  • Eye problems that lead to blindness

A stuffy nose and nosebleed may occur in the mucous membranes. When this condition attacks the nerve a person may lose his sense of feeling. He will experience a sudden injury without notice.

Risk Factors

The following are at risk of having the disease.

  • A family history.
  • Genetic defects.
  • Those people living in places where this disease is endemic.
  • A person having a physical contact with a person with this condition.
  • A person who handles an animal that carries the bacteria.

Diagnosis

It’s easy to diagnose this condition. There are patches on the skin that are not usually like in the normal skin. The affected area may be reddish. A person may also lose the sense of feeling. To confirm the condition, your doctor will perform a certain procedure. He will require you to have a biopsy. This procedure helps them to look for the bacteria in the microscope.

Treatment

The treatment will depend on the type of leprosy a person may have. There are medicines to help cure the infection. There is also anti-inflammatory drug to help ease the pain. The following are the medicines that may help a person with the disease:

Antibiotic Drug may include:

  • Rifampin
  • Ofloxacin
  • Minocycline
  • Clofazimine
  • Dapsone

Anti-inflammatory Drug may include:

  • Thalomid
  • Aspirin
  • Prednisone

Preventive Measures

This disease can be prevented by early diagnosis and treatment. You may also practice the following to reduce your risk:

  • Avoid close contact with a person with the disease.
  • Wear gloves if you work in the animal industry.
  • Do not share your things with other people.
  • Do not go or live in places where the disease is endemic.