Maharashtra state is facing high risk of leprosy cases as over 5000 cases were detected in recent times. It is an alarming proportion considering the best medical treatment available in the city and suburbs. The greatest risk factor for developing leprosy is contact with another case of leprosy. Contacts of people with leprosy are five to eight times more likely to develop leprosy than members of the general population. Leprosy also occurs more commonly among those living in poverty. Other risk factors are poorly understood. However, conditions that reduce immune function, such as malnutrition, other illnesses, or host genetic differences, may increase the risk of developing leprosy. Despite this, infection with HIV does not appear to increase the risk of developing leprosy. Transmission of leprosy occurs during close contact with those who are infected. Transmission is proposed to be by nasal droplets, but many questions remain about its mode of transmission and epidemiology. Leprosy is not known to be either sexually transmitted or highly infectious. People are generally no longer infectious after the first month of standard multidrug therapy. Despite special doctors are available to treat leprosy patients, the people’s don’t care attitude leads to spreading the disease in epidemic form in some pockets. It is better that prevention is better than cure.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)