IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


27th December, 2020 Health
  • With advances in leprosy treatment in the 1980s, the WHO resolved to globally “eliminate leprosy as a public health problem”, that is, bring down the number of cases to less than one per 10,000 by the year 2000.
  • India declared this elimination status in 2005.

Leprosy or Hansen’s Disease

  • According to the WHO, leprosy, also known as Hansen’s Disease, is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae.
  • The disease mainly affects the skin, the peripheral nerves, mucosal surfaces of the upper respiratory tract and the eyes.
  • Symptoms may occur within a year but can also take as long as 20 years or more to occur.
  • Leprosy is known to occur at all ages and is curable.
  • Treatment in the early stages can prevent disability. Its mode of transmission has never been fully understood, and its likely transmitted via droplets, from the nose and mouth, during close and frequent contact.
  • Around two lakh new cases were reported globally in 2019, of which 1.14 lakh were reported from India.