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Leprosy Detected in Madeira

The Regional Directorate of Health (DRS) informs that a case of Hansen’s disease (leprosy) has been confirmed in the Autonomous Region of Madeira (RAM).

The patient in question, an adult female, resident in the Autonomous Region of Madeira since January 2022, is being followed by the Health Service of the Autonomous Region of Madeira, and the woman is receiving the necessary treatment for the infection.

All close contacts have been identified, and the situation is being monitored by local health authorities. The origin of the case has been identified, and the contagion happened outside the Region, namely in Brazil, and is therefore an imported case. It should be noted that Hansen’s disease does not spread easily, so the woman has not been isolated.

Treatment is very effective, and isolation is only recommended in those who have been in close and prolonged contact with the sufferer.

The DRS will continue to monitor the evolution of this situation.

Leprosy is caused by M.leprae and M. lepromatosis bacteria. It is not exactly known how transmission occurs, although many experts believe that it is spread through ‘respiratory droplets’ either through coughing or sneezing by an infected person. 

Leprosy is still prevalent in around 120 countries, and approximately 200,000 new cases are reported every year.

Samantha Gannon

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