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Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae, an acid-fast bacillus. It mainly affects the skin, the peripheral nerves, the mucosa of the upper respiratory tract and the eyes.
According to Lorena Lammoglia Ordiales, an academic at the Faculty of Medicine of the UNAM, is an infectious, granulomatous and chronic disease characterized by nervous and skin symptoms, with the appearance of spots, tubers and ulcers.
The contagion is transferred through direct and prolonged contact. The rate of contagion in a marriage where one of the individuals is infected is 6 percent, but if both spouses have leprosy the percentage of contracting the disease increases to 30 percent to the children.
"The above means that there is a certain genetic predisposition that makes us susceptible to infection with Mycobacterium leprae, an acid-fast bacillus that causes this disease," he said.
Some more common symptoms can be skin lesions that are clearer than the normal color of the skin, lesions that have decreased sensitivity to touch, heat or pain, and injuries that do not heal after a few weeks or months; In addition to muscle weakness and numbness or absence of sensitivity in hands, arms, legs and feet.
Leprosy is curable and it is not necessary to separate the sick from healthy people. It is not easy to get infected and if detected early, it is possible to limit complications.
General Directorate for the Dissemination of Science, UNAM