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Leprosy itself does not cause loss of fingers or toes


sni “Leprosy itself does not cause loss of fingers or toes”,sni

says Dr Mutaher Zia, a Leprosy specialist at Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre Karachi

 SN: What is leprosy?sni

Leprosy is not a genetic disorder but an infectious disease which is caused by a bacteria  called Mycobacterium leprae. It mainly affects the skin and peripheral nerves of the arms and legs.sni

SN: What is the prevalence of leprosy in Pakistan?sni

Leprosy is not very common in Pakistan. Its prevalence is 0.27 per 10,000 with an average of 400-500 new cases every year.sni

SN: What is the mission of MALC in eradicating leprosy?sni

Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre (MALC) succeeded in controlling the spread of disease in Pakistan in 1996. But new cases are still surfacing due to the long incubation period of the disease.sni

MALC aims to create awareness about the disease so cases can be detected early and standard treatment be provided free of cost all over the country.sni

 SN: What are its symptoms? sni

Leprosy usually appears with hypo pigmented, light colored or slightly reddish patches in or on skin. It can cause pain in the nerves of arms and legs leading to nerve damage. Later, it causes loss of sensation and may weaken hand and feet muscles.  sni

 SN: Can leprosy be transmitted by touch?sni

It is more commonly transmitted through inhalation. Its bacteria enter the body through nose.sni

SN: How is it diagnosed?sni

An experienced doctor may guess it by loss of sensation in skin and examination of nerves. Then a simple skin test can detect leprosy bacteria in the skin.sni

SN:  What is the treatment?sni

Leprosy is treated with combination of antibiotics which is called Multi-Drug Therapy (MDT). The medicines are provided free of cost by World Health Organization.sni

SN: Which parts or systems of body get affected with leprosy?sni

Besides the skin and nerves, it can also affect the eyes, kidneys and testes.sni

SN: Can leprosy be cured?sni

Yes, early detection and treatment with MDT can cure it.sni

SN: Is leprosy a recurring disease?sni

Its immunological complications, called Lepra reactions can recur.sni

SN: Why do lepers lose fingers?sni

Leprosy itself does not cause loss of fingers or toes. This can occur if the patients do not take care of their hands and feet that have loss of sensation. Repeated injuries and infections can then lead to loss of bone tissue.sni

SN: What are types of leprosy?sni

According to WHO, leprosy is mainly of two types; a less infectious type called Paucibacillary and a more infectious type called Multibacillary.sni

SN: What are its complications?sni

Leprosy can also result in fever, pain in joints and nerves and limbs, reddish and swollen skin lesions and nerve damage resulting in increased loss of sensation and muscle weakness of hands and feet.sni

what is leprosy, kya korh ka ilaaj mumkin hai

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