Diseases Home > How Do You Prevent Leprosy?

How do you prevent leprosy? Researchers and scientists investigating the disease believe that the best way is to have yearly examinations (for at least five years) if you live in the same household as a person with leprosy. An early diagnosis can often reduce symptoms of leprosy and associated complications.

How Do You Prevent Leprosy? -- An Overview

Given the folklore that still surrounds the disease, many people wonder, "How do you prevent leprosy?" Although researchers have not found a vaccine that will prevent the disease, they are actively looking. Because leprosy can be cured with medicines, an early diagnosis will reduce leprosy symptoms and complications. Therefore, while prevention of leprosy is not always possible, especially where leprosy is endemic, control should be possible.

How Do You Prevent Leprosy for Household Contacts?

In order to prevent leprosy, people who live in the same household (household contacts) as a person with leprosy will need to be examined by a physician. These examinations should be done annually for five years. It is important to note that the degree of natural immunity is high and there is generally no need for preventative medicine. However, if you are a household contact and you develop a questionable skin rash, you should have a skin biopsy to determine whether or not leprosy is present.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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