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LeprosyPast and Present$
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Charlotte A. Roberts

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781683401841

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683401841.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

How Leprosy Affects the Human Body

How Leprosy Affects the Human Body

(p.64) 2 How Leprosy Affects the Human Body

Charlotte A. Roberts

University Press of Florida

This chapter considers how leprosy affects the human body. The skin, nerves, and upper respiratory system are affected. The bacillus can have a long incubation period, which means that many people may harbor the infection but will not show any signs, thus preventing early diagnosis and treatment. The variety of forms that leprosy can take shows how important the immune system is to the development of different leprosy types. This has consequences for the experience of each person with leprosy. The range of different types of skin lesions also reflect what a dynamic disease leprosy is, but the effect of the bacteria on the nervous system can lead to profound damage to the extremities in particular, damage that can have considerable consequences for the person concerned physically, socially, and mentally. Acute inflammatory episodes (reactions) provide a further challenge to people with leprosy and to health care workers helping to manage their patients’ infection.

Keywords:   leprosy, immune system, nervous system

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