The director of the Research Institute for the Study of Leprosy, Viktor Duyko (computer translated) reports seven Astrakhan patients being treated for leprosy.

Image/tetracarbon via pixabay
Image/tetracarbon via pixabay

“Seven new cases have been identified in our region. Six are the sick for the first time, and the seventh is a relapse in a patient who is under observation”, said Duyko. All patients are elderly people over 60 years old.

“The main leprosy foci are the Ikryaninsky, Volodarsky, Kamyzyaksky districts of the Astrakhan region, the village, there used to be active patients with leprosy. New cases have been discovered thanks to the good work of the dermatological service. Specialists sent patients to us who had long-lasting non-healing spots on their bodies, ”added Duyko.

There are 250 leprosy patients in Russia now, the director of the institute emphasized. At the dispensary in a scientific institution consists of 125 residents of the Astrakhan region, who had had leprosy. According to Duyko, 60% of all patients in the country are residents of the Lower Volga region.

Hansen’s disease, formerly known as leprosy, is caused by Mycobacterium leprae (M. leprae )bacteria. The infection has also been identified in nine-banded armadillos. Approximately 95 percent of people are resistant to infection; people who develop clinical illness can experience a wide range of clinical manifestations, but typically develop infections involving the skin, peripheral nerves and nasal mucosa.

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Although the mode of transmission of Hansen’s disease is not clearly defined, most investigators believe that M. leprae is usually spread person-to-person in respiratory droplets following extended close contact with an infected person, such as living in the same household. Extended close contact with infected armadillos may also pose exposure risk to M. leprae.  For many cases, the exposure causing the infection is unknown because it can take months or years for illness to develop.

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