In an age of emerging infectious diseases, it is easy to assume that leprosy is a disease of the past. Yet there were more than 232,000 new cases of leprosy reported last year, and the disease continues to cause visible deformities and disabilities in approximately 13,000-15,000 people every year worldwide.
While public health experts continue to work with policymakers, NGOs, partners and donors, the goal of a leprosy-free world is possible only with renewed commitments for resources and trained health workers.
Leprosy is a chronic disease caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium leprae. The bacterium multiplies very slowly and the incubation period ranges from a few months to as long as 20 years.
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