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16
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How does one catch leprosy?


Written by Dr Sunder Rao Bethapudy
Category: FAQs

The exact mechanism of transmission of leprosy is not known. At least until recently, the most widely held belief was that the disease was transmitted by contact between cases of leprosy and healthy persons.

More recently it is believed tha M. leprae is transmitted primarily through coughing and sneezing. Bacilli are discharged, perhaps on droplets or dust particles that others inhale. However, the disease is not highly contagious like the flu. If left untreated, the disease can cause nerve damage, leading to muscle weakness and atrophy, and permanent disabilities.

 

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