Clinical Infectious Diseases: Open Access

ISSN: 2684-4559

Open Access

Leprosy: A Time for Elimination by 2020


Mohamud A Verjee

Leprosy is a vestigial disease, found endemically in pockets of countries globally. With a long history, it began to decrease in the 1980’s when its prevalence fell from over five million to less than 180,000. Modern treatment is effective and provides a cure with triple therapy available at no cost to those affected. With a lengthy incubation period, but fortunately a low infectivity and contagion index, it can be eliminated if detected early in the onset period. Commonly, the primary presenting clinical features are peripheral neuropathy, skin lesions, and in a late stage, limbic destruction, although multiple organ systems can be affected. WHO champions the reduction of leprosy globally, producing weekly reports and an operating manual for leprosy management. The mission ahead is to eliminate the disease, with a priority to rid pediatric leprosy entirely by 2020. The morbidity and suffering of the disease are preventable with diligence and rigor. This review summarizes the disease, efficacy of treatment, and elucidates current policies of the WHO in the task to eliminate leprosy.


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