Leprosy is an infectious disease caused by bacteria named Mycobacterium leprae which infects the nerves, eyes, skin and respiratory tracts leading to loss of sensation in the extremities and area of skin affected.

Leprosy is very old infectious disease mentioned in many old literatures and in Arabic it is mentioned as (Jutham).

Other name to leprosy is Hansen disease it was named after the Norwegian physician Gerhard Armauer Hansen.

Transmission of leprosy usually takes place through respiratory root and requires long duration of contact with the infected patients.

Leprosy is not transmitted by food and drinks neither through sex or mother to fetus.

Not all contacts with the infected patient will get infected 95% of contacts will not get infection only 5% of contacts can get the infection and disease.

The symptoms of leprosy usually take long time to develop and loss of sensation in the hands and feet on the skin areas affected by infection. Nerves also are affected and became thickened with loss of sensation which can lead to ulcers on feet and hands which can lead to deformities if not treated.

Leprosy is diagnosed by taking piece of skin or nerves and examine the tissue under microscope looking for the bacteria of leprosy, this can confirm the diagnosis.

Leprosy is considered as curable disease that need to be treated for quite long duration.

Patient infected with leprosy needs to comply with treatment and follow with physician regularly. 

Multidrug treatment is required to cure leprosy usually from several months to years and patient may need management for complications from deferent specialties like dermatologists, neurologists in addition to infectious diseases physicians and ophthalmologists. 

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