How Contagious is Leprosy ?

contagious leprosy
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How Contagious is Leprosy ?

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As compared to any other bacterial disease, the contagiousness of leprosy is very low as the bacterium itself is a very weak pathogen. So also most (95%)people exposed to infection, are immune and only 5% people can suffer from the disease after prolonged exposure.

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IANAD Well it really depends what type of leprosy you’re talking about. There’s two kinds: tuberculoid and lepramatous. Lepramatous is probably what people think of when they hear about leprosy. That’s the one that causes a decrease of cutaneous nervous sensation and subsequent lesions and abscesses on people’s face etc. Tuberculoid ends up being mostly controlled by your body’s cellular immune system (T-cells and all that). Your best bet is to talk to your doctor and describe exactly what you touched, what you believe was touched by the person involved with the accident, and anything you remember about the specifics (name/dosage) of the medication that was found. However, my guy reaction is that you’ll be fine… Just let your doctor know that you were exposed to it, and since it’s got such a low chance of transmission/infection, you’re most likely okay.

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Not to wrack your nerves even more, but other blood- and body-fluid-borne nasties are much more contagious (and less treatable/curable) than leprosy – namely, HIV and hepatitis. You might want to get checked for those as well…

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