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Word Count: 3,140
Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease of human beings that primarily affects the skin mucous membranes and peripheral nerves It is a disease that has existed for thousands of years however the formal discovery of the leprosy bacillus Mycobacterium leprae was not until 1874 Norwegian physician Gerhard Henrik Armaeur Hansen was the first to formally identify the bacillus and in his recognition leprosy is also referred to Hansens disease Leprosy is a disease that poorly understood by many health care professionals Although there is some knowledge of the mechanism transmission and treatment of the disease there are many questions that still remain The following paper attempts to provide some background information on what is known about leprosy and then attempts to investigate certain aspects of the disease that are unknown A description of the classification mechanism of infection transmission distribution and treatment of the disease will be provided After reviewing the background material a great deal of questions may arise as to how exactly this disease is spread from person to person and what conditions promote infection For example one may wish to investigate the following 1 Mycobacterium leprae as yet to be cultured in laboratory media Why 2 Why is leprosy so prevalent in some parts of the world ie India but not in others 3 How does leprosy become so widespread in a population 4 Despite the discovery of drug treatments why are over million people still infected 5 Is there a genetic predisposition to leprosy 6 Are there non-human sources for the disease 7 Is there a vaccination for leprosy These are just a few of the many issues currently under examination Over the years the use of modern molecular and immunological tools has become a valuable method in revealing what is known to date about the disease However until the epidemiology of the disease is completely understood effective control and prevention of leprosy can be difficult Classification of Leprosy Leprosy
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