Leprosy Come Back

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) in India, Nata Menabde , told AFP in an interview that nearly a third of India's districts needed urgent attention to address the spread of new infections. "There are about 209 out of 640 districts where the number of new cases exceeds the WHO target of less than 10 new cases per 100,000," she said. Leprosy, an ancient disease which causes lesions on the skin and attacks nerves in the hands and feet, resulting in disability, was declared officially eliminated in India in 2005 according to WHO guidelines on prevalence rates. The WHO allows governments to declare that leprosy is no longer a public health risk if the prevalence rate falls below one case per 10,000 people. Ten percent of the new cases occurring in India involve children, the WHO's Menabde said. "The high incidence among children shows that the transmission rate is very high," she said, calling it an early warning for the government. "It suggests that progress against leprosy can also reverse and it can grow and India can also lose its position as having eliminated the disease," she said.

Source : WHO Calls For Urgent Action To Stem Leprosy Spread in India | MedIndia      2011/10/19

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