Navigation Links
Forgotten, but not gone: Leprosy still present in the US
Date:11/7/2008

Long believed to be a disease of biblical times, leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease, continues to be seen in the United States. "Approximately 150 cases are diagnosed each year with 3,000 people in the U.S. currently being treated for leprosy, says James Krahenbuhl, Ph.D., director of the Health Resources Service Administration's National Hansen's Disease Program (NHDP) in Baton Rouge, LA. "We believe there are more cases of leprosy not identified due to the lack of awareness about the disease among physicians in the U.S., which is leading to misdiagnosis and wrong treatments for patients who are left to suffer with the debilitating damage caused by this disease."

Although researchers do not clearly understand how leprosy is transmitted, they do know that it is a slow, chronic disease that attacks the peripheral nervous system and motor skills often leading to disability and disfigurement. According to the NHDP, the onset of infection and symptoms can take three to 10 years, making it difficult for researchers to find the origin of where or how people acquire the disease. As the disease progresses, patients lose their sense of touch in their fingers and toes leaving them open to repeated burns and cuts which then get infected. The effects of repeated damage will initiate bone absorption and motor nerve deterioration causing fingers to shorten and curve, resulting in a claw-like appearance. Although leprosy can be fully treated with medicine when diagnosed in early stages, once the disease has advanced nerve damage cannot be reversed.

Because many of the population in the U.S. affected by leprosy are immigrants in poor communities who primarily seek treatment in free clinics or emergency rooms, the NHDP says that many of those physicians are not familiar with the disease to make an accurate diagnosis. Therefore, many physicians mistake the skin lesions of leprosy for a fungus or ringworm and treat it with a topical cream. And, because leprosy is a slow-progressing disease, it can take months, if not longer, before the doctor or the patient realizes that the treatment isn't working giving the disease enough time to start destroying the nervous system.

Leprosy is most prevalent in the tropics and third world countries where there are poor living conditions and limited access to medical care. Due to changes in immigrant relocation, leprosy is now being diagnosed throughout the U.S. The NHDP sees approximately 30 cases each year among residents in southern Louisiana and the Gulf Coast of Texas who were born in the U.S. and who have never visited an endemic country. "As we see leprosy move toward internal regions of the States, it becomes more urgent to reach those physicians to let them know about the symptoms of this disease," explains Dr. Krahenbuhl. Dr. James Krahenbuhl will lead a symposium at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene meeting to raise awareness among physicians that leprosy is in the U.S. and assistance and treatments are available.


'/>"/>

Contact: Rosalind D'Eugenio
rdeugenio@environics-usa.com
203-325-8772
American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. New York Community Trust Awards Grant of $100,000 to Infectious Disease Research Institute for Early Detection Leprosy Tests
2. There's Still Time to Ensure Your Turkey Neck Doesn't Make an Appearance at Thanksgiving Dinner Thanks to Innovative Tuliplift
3. U.S. Experts Still Unsure of Allergy Relief by Mouth
4. Cholesterol-lowering drugs may also lower PSA, but whether they cut cancer risk is still not known
5. Social Security 2009 COLA Helps, But People with Disabilities Will Still Struggle, Says Allsup
6. Americans Place High Value on Eyesight, Yet Many Still Lack Vision Coverage
7. Role of Circumcision in Reducing HIV Risk Still Unclear
8. Patients in Minimally Conscious State May Still Feel Pain
9. Safety Threat to Rochester Still Remains Despite Approval Of Canadian Pacifics Railroad Acquisition Of DM&E
10. Kabul Under Virtual Lockdown for International Travelers, Progress Still Evident for Women's Programs
11. Big Tobaccos Grip on Colleges and Students Loosens, But Still Holding Strong: New Report Examines Trends on Campuses
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... ... Lori G. Cohen and Sara K. Thompson , shareholders ... American Conference Institute’s 21st Drug & Medical Device Litigation Conference , taking place in ... , Cohen, who chairs the firm’s Pharmaceutical, Medical Device & Health Care Litigation Practice ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... ... over twenty-four years, Doctors on Liens has published a directory of the top ... care. When the company started in 1997, the directory was a single page focusing ... now ten-page directory features a vast array of medical specialists stretching from Sacramento ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... California (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... professionals, proudly announces the launch of its 60-day free trial program for all ... trip shipping make the offer a truly hassle free experience. , FlexiSpot’s unique ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... U.S. Surgeon ... interview with Mediaplanet, Dr. Murthy explains how he was inspired to practice medicine at ... learned that medicine is about more than making diagnoses and prescribing medicine,” he states. ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... Hills, California, will be included in the 2016 “Guide to America’s Top Plastic ... based on the amalgamation of their education, experience, and professional associations. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... December 2, 2016 On Thursday, the ... the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.36% higher, to finish ... 0.35%. Losses were broad based as six out of nine ... research reports on the following Services equities: Myriad Genetics Inc. ... QGEN ), INC Research Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: INCR ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... 2016 The concept of rare diseases and the ... this sector has been taking shape in Europe ... aspects and initiatives related to orphan medicinal products have been ... of member states individually. Many member states in the EU ... of orphan medicinal products, the result of which took the ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... 1, 2016 Around the corners of world, ... each habitable land present over earth. Cancer has become ... in a life time this is because of the ... now. Given the steady increase in global cancer incidence ... spiraling healthcare costs of treatment, there is increasing interest ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: