World Leprosy Day

Leprosy is a contagious disease that has generated discrimination towards those who have suffered from it throughout human history, because it causes deformities of the face and limbs. However, the disease is low contagious, as 95% of people in contact with the patient will not become infected; It takes many years of living with a patient to acquire it, or even the fact of living in the same room with multiple people can breed it due to the load of bacilli and bacteria in the environment, which is why it is directly related to hospital environments and extreme poverty. It is also known as Hansen’s disease, in honor of the Norwegian Gerhard Henrik Armauer Hansen who in 1873 discovered or also named this mycobacterium leprae. In 2005 this disease was eradicated in Mexico. Finally in 2008, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights decided to eliminate stigma and discrimination against people affected by leprosy.

With information from Dr. Rodolfo Acuña Soto, Professor, Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, College of Medicine

– Vélez A. Hernán, Rojas M. William, Borrero R. Jaime, Restrepo M. Jorge, Fundamentals of Medicine, Dermatology, 2009, 7th edition, Medellín, Colombia: Corporation for Biological Research.

Diseases in History: Leprosy in the World, Alvarez C. Raphael, Vol. 53, Issue 006 (2010), Journal of the Faculty of Medicine, UNAM.

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