A germ affecting the skin and nerves causes leprosy. If not treated, it causes disabilities.
Leprosy germs are spread when an untreated leprosy sufferer sneezes or coughs a lot of times.
Most people have a natural resistance to the leprosy germ and cannot get the disease.
Yes, leprosy can be successfully treated. Treatment usually lasts between 6 months to 2 years, depending on how severely a person is affected.
When the community accepts the disease, and gives people the necessary support and motivation to seek help, leprosy is detected early. When a person receives regular treatment and comes for regular check-ups problems can be treated early.
Nerve damage can result in clawing of fingers.
Nerve damage paralyses the eyelids so that the person cannot blink.
Nerve damage can result in injuries to hands and feet.
Patch which is similar to ringworm. Towards the centre skin is lighter in colour. The edges are raised, with loss of feeling. May have no other complaints.
Flat light-coloured patches with loss of feeling. May complain of loss of feeling or weakness in fingers and toes.
Lighter patches with raised edges with slight loss of feeling. Person may complain of loss of feeling and weakness in hands and feet.
Pimple-like lumps on face, ears and hands. Person may complain of nose bleeding and blocked nose. Loss of feeling and weakness of hands and feet.
Bigger lumps on skin and ears. Loss of eyebrows, complains of nose bleeding and nose blocks.
Thickening of skin, face and earlobes. Loss of feeling and weakness in hands and feet. Blocked nose, nose bleeding and lose of eyebrows.