India had 56% of world's new leprosy infections in 2010

India accounted for 56 percent of the world's new leprosy infections in 2010 despite declaring itself free of the nerve-destroying disease five years earlier, a report said Saturday.

Of the 228,474 new leprosy cases in the world in 2010, India accounted for 126,800, S.D. Gokhale, president of the International Leprosy Union (India), told the Press Trust of India news agency.

"If the union and state governments do not take serious note of this fact and initiate effective steps to eradicate leprosy, the problem will become more acute," Gokhale was quoted as saying.

Leprosy is a curable chronic infectious disease which mainly affects the skin, , and the eyes.

The bacteria that causes the disease multiply very slowly and the is about five years. Symptoms can take as long as 20 years to appear.

Gokhale, speaking following a three-day meeting of the International Leprosy Union in the western Indian city of Pune, said the leprosy infection figures had been confirmed by India's health ministry.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

AIDS drugs reveal leprosy infections

Oct 24, 2006

Experts in New York and around the world have said antiretroviral treatments have revealed hidden cases of leprosy in some AIDS patients.

WHO calls for stepped-up fight against leprosy

Feb 13, 2012

The World Health Organization called Monday for greater efforts to fight leprosy, warning the disfiguring disease was defying efforts to wipe it out across many countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

WHO warns leprosy spreading in India

Aug 06, 2011

Six years after leprosy was declared officially eliminated in India, officials and doctors are warning that the disfiguring disease is spreading in poverty-stricken pockets of the country.

Forgotten, but not gone: Leprosy still present in the US

Nov 07, 2008

Long believed to be a disease of biblical times, leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease, continues to be seen in the United States. "Approximately 150 cases are diagnosed each year with 3,000 people in the U.S. currently ...

Recommended for you

Routines most vital in avoiding Ebola infection: WHO

6 hours ago

Meticulously following stringent routines when putting on and removing protective equipment is more important than the kind of gear health care workers use to ward off Ebola infection, the World Health Organization said Friday.

A look at latest Ebola developments

7 hours ago

No African countries are on the United Nations list of contributors to fight Ebola. With few exceptions, African governments and institutions are offering only marginal support as the continent faces its ...

Liberia opens one of largest Ebola treatment centers

8 hours ago

Remembering those who have died in the world's deadliest Ebola outbreak, Liberia's president opened one of the country's largest Ebola treatment centers in Monrovia on Friday amid hopes that the disease is ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.