Leprosy (Hansen’s Disease): Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment



Leprosy also known as Hansen’s disease is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae. It is a condition that can affect your skin, eyes, mucous membranes and nerves, resulting in disfiguring sores and nerve damage.

Leprosy is a health condition that has been around since ancient times. And there has always been a stigma surrounding it. For centuries people isolated and shunned those with leprosy because the disease wasn’t understood. Today, there is an effective treatment available, and there is no need to quarantine people with leprosy.

Leprosy is a very old illness, so a lot of people question if it still exists. According to the World Health Organization [1], approximately 208,000 people have leprosy (Hansen’s disease) around the globe, with most cases found in Asia and Africa. In the United States, about 100 people receive a diagnosis for leprosy (Hansen’s disease) every year.