How Leprosy Is Transmitted?

Illustration of How Leprosy Is Transmitted?
Illustration: How Leprosy Is Transmitted? cdc.gov

Hello, I have a 2 year old child, my father at the end of 2017 had leprosy at that time I didn’t know. And what I regret is that when my child had diarrhea, my father chewed guava leaves straight from the mouth of the CPC, I gave my child at the age of 1 year and over. Is it likely that my child has leprosy? Please explain, and how I should detect early. Thanks.

1 Answer:

Hi Arum,

Thank you for asking HealthReplies.com.

It needs to be clarified, do your children often have close contact with your father on a daily basis? Or is the contact only occasional? At the time of this contact, was your father receiving or already undergoing treatment for his leprosy?

Leprosy occurs due to infection with a type of bacteria called Mycobacterium leprae. These bacteria can infect the skin, peripheral nerve fibers, eyes, and nasal mucosa. Usually, the symptoms that appear in people with leprosy are in the form of open sores on the skin that are pale, lumps, or swelling that don't go away for a long time. Generally, the sufferer's skin will become dry, thickened, and also feel stiff. Hair (such as eyebrows and eyelashes) can be shed, and amputations are common (detachment of parts of the body, often fingers). The nerve fibers in the skin can become swollen so that they can be seen clearly with the naked eye. Nerve disorders due to leprosy can also cause the sufferer to experience sensation disturbances (numbness, numbness, pain, tingling) and muscle weakness in the infected area. If it appears in the eye, sufferers can also experience blindness due to leprosy. The incubation period of the microorganisms that cause leprosy can last a very long time, which averages from 3 to 5 years after infection occurs.

As to how leprosy is transmitted is still widely studied. It is suspected that this transmission occurs when a person inhales (not swallows) mucus droplets from the patient's airway, for example when the patient coughs, sneezes, or spits. However, transmission is possible if contact occurs for a long time, namely months, or years with the patient. Transmission can be very unlikely if a person with leprosy is or has been undergoing treatment for leprosy.

Judging from the information you conveyed, your child has the potential to contract leprosy. This transmission is likely not due to your father's saliva being swallowed by your child. Instead, transmission can occur if your child has frequent close contact with your father after your father has an infection but has not received treatment. If your child has only occasional contact with your father, or if this contact occurs after or while your father is undergoing treatment for his leprosy, then the potential for this transmission is very unlikely.

Even so, there was no harm in being on guard. You can observe, are there any symptoms of leprosy that appear in your child. Or, you can also check your child directly to a doctor or skin specialist. Usually, if the doctor suspects leprosy symptoms, the doctor will carry out further tests, including laboratory tests or skin biopsy.

Meanwhile, in order to minimize the risk of leprosy transmission, you should take your father to undergo regular treatment. Also, accompany your father in undergoing treatment for his disease until it is complete, do not isolate him. If your father comes into contact with children or people who have a weakened immune system, it is best to recommend that he wear a nose and mouth mask.

Hope it helps ..

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