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Hansen's disease (also known as leprosy) is a rare bacterial infection that affects the skin, nerves and mucous membranes. After exposure, it may take anywhere from 2 to 10 years to develop features of the condition. Once present, common signs and symptoms include skin lesions; muscle weakness or paralysis; eye problems that may lead to blindness; nosebleeds; severe pain; and/or numbness in the hands, feet, arms and legs. Hansen's disease is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae; however, the way in which the bacterium is transmitted (spread) is poorly understood. It appears that only about 5% of people are susceptible to the condition. Hansen's disease is easily treated with combination antibiotics for 6 months to 2 years.
Source: GARD Last updated on 05-01-20
The National Hansen's Disease Program provides care, research, and information about leprosy in the United States. To learn more about the Program, click on the link.
Last updated on 04-27-20
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