What You Need to Know About Leprosy


Leprosy is quite possibly the most common cause of crippling in the hands in the world. Other complications can include:
  • Loss of fingers or toes following an injury or an infection
  • Blindness
  • An increased risk for arthritis and amyloidosis.
Worldwide, 1 to 2 million people are permanently disabled because of the disease.


Because leprosy can be cured with medicines (see Cures for Leprosy), an early diagnosis will often reduce associated symptoms and complications. Therefore, while prevention is not always possible, especially where leprosy is endemic, control should be possible.
(Click Prevention of Leprosy for more information about how to prevent the disease.)

Statistics on Leprosy

Statistics from 2002 include:
  • The number of new leprosy cases detected worldwide was 763,917
  • 96 cases occurring in the United States were reported to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) listed Brazil, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Nepal as having 90 percent of leprosy cases that year.
(Click Leprosy Statistics for more statistics on this illness.)

Leprosy Disease

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