Essay by lilmikey112High School, 10th grade December 2005

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Leprosy is an infectious disease that has been known since biblical times. It is identified by disfiguring skin lesions, nerve damage, and continuous loss of energy. Leprosy is caused by the organism Mycobacteriumleprae. The disease is difficult to transmit and has a long period of growth, which makes it difficult to determine where or when the disease was contracted. Children are more susceptible than adults to contracting this disease.

Leprosy has two common forms, tuberculoid and lepromatous. Both forms produce lesions on the skin, but the lepromatous form is most severe, producing large disfiguring blisters. All forms of the disease eventually cause nerve damage because of sensory loss (cant feel things anymore) in the skin and muscle weakness.

Leprosy is common in many countries in the world, and in temperate, tropical, and subtropical climates. Approximately 100 cases per year are diagnosed in the U.S. Most cases are limited to the South, California, Hawaii, and U.S.

island possessions. Prevention of this disease is just not to come into close physical contact with the infected person. Symptoms to diagnose this disease include the following: discoloration of your skin, decreased sensitivity in and around the infected are to heat and so on, numbness in the hands ands and feet, and muscle weakness.

An early diagnosis of this disease is very important. The reason for this is so that the disease will not spread too far and so the medication can cure you in time and you can be deemed cured. Some complications that a person might experience even after they are cured are permanent nerve damage, and disfigurement (cosmetic and physical). Treatment options for this include several medications such as: Dapsone, Rifampin, Clofazimine, Ethionamide, etc... In the old days people were put in "leper colonies" so they wouldn't spread the disease to...