Characterization of New Leprosy Cases in Northeast of Iran within the Last 15 Years
Leprosy is a neglected disease. The insidious onset of leprosy results in its late diagnosis and therefore the spread of the disease. Characterization of leprosy in areas with higher risk and collection of enough information about these spots to adopt more effective controlling measures are of great importance. In the present study, data for every patient who either referred to the health care center for leprosy or had had similar leprous symptoms between 2002 and 2016 were collected. Forty-two new cases of leprosy were identified with 28 of them being Iranian and 14 from Afghanistan. All patients were older than 15. 26.2% of the patients were women and 73.8% were men. According to World Health Organization (WHO) protocol, 36 patients (85.7%) were diagnosed to have been affected by the Multi Bacillary form; and among those patients, 61.9%, 19.05%, and 19.05% suffered from grade 1, 0, and 2 of the disease, respectively. There was a significant relationship between disability grading and sex (P=0.032), with grade 1 disability happening more often in men. Another significant relationship was also observed between Multi Bacillary form and nationality (P=0.011) indicating that Multi Bacillary form is more common among Iranians. With 0.02 leprosy cases in 10000 people, Iran is at elimination phase of the disease; however, identification of new cases in our region demands constant controlling programs and establishment of strict policies. Fortunately, the few numbers of patients diagnosed with leprosy in Northeast of Iran shows successful implementation of such policies under the scrutiny of the public health authorities.
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pISSN: 0253-0716 eISSN: 1735-3688