Leprosy Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment & Insurance | Royal Sundaram
Commonly/Often misspelled as laprosy, leprasy, etc
We will be covering the following:
- Leprosy Symptoms
- Leprosy Diagnosis
- Leprosy Treatment & Cost in India
- Health Insurance in India
- Other Diseases
What is Leprosy
Leprosy, also commonly called Hansen’s disease, is a persistent infectious disease affected by Mycobacterium leprae. Leprosy principally affects the skin, mucosal surfaces, the peripheral nerves, and the eyes. This disease is recognized for occurring at all age ranges right from early infancy to old age. This disease is treatable, and early treatment prevents most disabilities. However, the exact mechanism or leprosy transmission is still unknown. The most widely held belief of people was that the disease was transmitted by the touch between leprosy infected person and healthy adult. Recently, the chances of transmission by the respiratory route is being more popular. There can also be other possibilities like transmissions thru bugs and insects. Initially, an infected person does not show symptoms for five to twenty years. The symptoms that develop include granulomas of nerves, skin, and eyes. All of this may result in loss of ability to feel the pain, which can further lead to the loss of parts of extremities due to continuous injuries and infection that might go unnoticed.
The symptoms of leprosy are different in different people, all depending upon the condition.
The main symptoms include:
Due to nerve damage, the breakout of injuries and burns might go unnoticed because of the lack of sensation. This may potentially lead to becoming infected or more seriously injured. Over a period of time, the hand and feet can be lost to repeated damage. The wounds are more inclined to get infected, as immune defenses are weak by leprosy. This leads to the shortening of the toes and fingers during leprosy
- The presence of skin injuries that are lighter in the shade than normal skin
- Skin patches with reduced sensation, such as touch, pain, and heat
- Muscle fatigue
- Numbness in the hands, feet, legs, and arms
- Eyesight problems
- Swollen nerves, especially in the elbows or knees
- Blockage in nose and nosebleeds
- Paralysis of small muscles in the hand
- Ulcers on the soles of the feet.
The diagnosis of leprosy is primarily based on clinical signs and symptoms. The signs are easy to recognize by any health practitioner after their training period. In practice, frequently, people with such conditions report themselves to the health center as the signs are evident. Only in a few rare instances, there is a need to use lab investigations to affirm a diagnosis of leprosy.
In an endemic area, a person should be considered as having leprosy if they show one of the listed cardinal signs:
- Skin injury with leprosy and evident sensory loss, with or without thickened nerves
- Single or multiple skin wounds, usually less colored than healthy skin. At times, the scars appear reddish or copper-colored.
- Positive skin smears.
Leprosy Treatment and Cost in India
Leprosy treatment comprises of a multidrug therapy approach that spans between six and twelve months.
Leprosy is treatable with a combination of drugs called multidrug therapy, as the treatment of leprosy with only one antileprosy drug can result in the development of drug resistance towards that drug. The combination of medications used in MDT depends on the classification of the disease. Rifampicin is the most crucial antileprosy medicine and is used in treating both types of leprosy.
In 1984, Multidrug therapy (MDT), was first prescribed by a WHO Expert Committee and quickly became the go-to treatment of leprosy since the year 1995. MDT has been supplied by WHO free of cost to all endemic countries.
For treating multibacillary leprosy, doctors and health practitioners recommend a combination of rifampicin, dapsone, and clofazimine.
In India, treatment of leprosy can cost about Rs. 27,000 including comprehensive care of the person.
Health Insurance in India
With the continual rising prices of healthcare in India, and with the ever-growing occurrences of numerous diseases, health insurance today is a requirement. Health insurance presents people with much-needed monetary support at times of medical crises. Health risks and medical uncertainties are part of life. An individual cannot plan and fall sick, but one can unquestionably be ready for the economic aspect. One of the many ways to be economically prepared and shield against uncertain health risks is by purchasing health insurance.
Health insurance is insurance coverage that compensates for medical expenses contracted by the insured. Health insurance can reimburse the insured for expenses incited from illness or injury, or pay the care provider directly.
The benefits of health insurance are:
- Prescription drugs
- Hospitalization charges
- Ambulatory services
- Emergency services
- Wellness and preventive services
- Chronic disease management
Besides, health insurance also helps in receiving tax benefits.
Other Diseases in India
The tectonic shift in the lifestyle has made India more inclined to a broad range of health ailments and disorders. Traveling, hectic work schedules, improper eating habits, quality of lifestyle, and raising levels of pollution have increased the risk of contracting health problems.
&The most common diseases involve:
- Cardiovascular illness
- Breathing problems
- Kidney and liver issues
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