Leprosy, a scary disease
Leprosy, the word alone is scary.
It brings to mind images of mutilated bodies, of amputees. Those who have leprosy live as outcasts. The stigma is still strong, even if a drug was discovered in 1981 and we can now cure leprosy. Unfortunately, the damages caused by leprosy are irreversible. Only contagion and progress are stopped with a powerful cocktail of antibiotics, a kind of chemotherapy.
- 219,000 new cases were detected in 2011.
- At the beginning of 2012, almost 182,000 people living mainly in Asia and Africa were infected.
- The incubation period is about 5 years. Symptoms may still appear after 20 years.
- Over the past 20 years, more than 14 million patients have been cured of leprosy.