Table of Contents
ISRN Tropical Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 579024, 4 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/579024
Research Article

Profile of New Leprosy Cases Attending a South Indian Referral Hospital in 2011-2012

Department of Dermatology, Father Muller Medical College, Mangalore, Karnataka 575002, India

Received 4 December 2012; Accepted 28 December 2012

Academic Editors: W. Hu and S. Munga

Copyright © 2013 Ramesh Marne Bhat and Prakash Chaitra. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. Leprosy, a disabling infectious disease, is a major public health problem in some regions, requiring knowledge of its epidemiological variations so that strategies for case detection and disease control can be subsidized. Objectives. This study aims to evaluate the clinical and epidemiological profiles of leprosy patients attending a referral hospital in South India between 2011 and 2012. Methods. Medical records of newly diagnosed leprosy cases between April 2011 and March 2012 were analysed at the Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, Father Muller Medical College Hospital, Mangalore, India. Data were obtained using a specific questionnaire and entered into the database system. Results. Adult males outnumbered females in our study. Detection rate among women and children under 15 years seems to be on the rise. Multibacillary leprosy was more frequent among the new cases with borderline tuberculoid as the predominant type, although smear positivity was seen in less than half of these clinical multibacillary cases. A higher occurrence of lepra reactions, neuritis, and deformities at the time of diagnosis was observed. Conclusion. The results of this study point to a high circulation of lepra bacilli in the community in the “elimination era” and also highlight the need for early diagnosis and appropriate treatment at the field level to prevent spread of bacilli and development of disabilities.