Is Leprosy Contagious

Is Leprosy Contagious

Leprosy is caused by bacteria Mycobacterium leprae, which is a slow acting organism, and it takes several years for the symptoms to develop after a person gets infected. It is also known that nearly 95 percent of the population is safe from getting infected by this disease as their immune system is capable of fighting off the infection.

Only 5 percent of the infected population is at risk of developing the disease. They are the people who may have genes that do not provide sufficient immunity from this infection.   

It is true that a person may receive the infection from another person who is already suffering from leprosy but still this disease can not be termed as contagious as several others are. A person can be in contact with leprosy patients and still he may not receive any infection. Health care workers have been exposed to leprosy patients for several years without getting infected. Transmission of the disease does not take place by touching or physical contact. The patients who are under medication usually do not cause the spread of the disease.  

It is generally the droplets expelled from the nose and mouth of the patient becomes the source from which the bacteria tend to find their way to the victim. As long as the individual takes care in keeping a distance, he is safe. On an average it takes 5 to 7 years for the symptoms to develop after a person is infected and to realize that he is affected by leprosy. Hence, it may not be possible to identify the time and the place when he got infected.

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Is Leprosy Contagious