What is the mortality/morbidity rate of leprosy?

Updated: Aug 24, 2018
  • Author: Darvin Scott Smith, MD, MSc, DTM&H; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Leprosy is rarely fatal, and the primary consequence of infection is nerve impairment and debilitating sequelae. According to one study, 33-56% of newly diagnosed patients already displayed signs of impaired nerve function. [9] According to estimates, 3 million people who have completed multidrug therapy for leprosy have sustained disability due to nerve damage. Although both lepromatous leprosy and tuberculoid leprosy involve the skin and peripheral nerves, tuberculoid leprosy has more severe manifestations. Nerve involvement results in loss of sensory and motor function, which may lead to frequent trauma and amputation. The ulnar nerve is most commonly involved.


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