CURRENT SCENARIO OF SMEAR-POSITIVE LEPROSY CASES IN A RURAL TERTIARY CARE HOSPITAL IN NANDYAL, ANDHRA PRADESH
Journal of Evolution of Medical and Dental Sciences
BACKGROUND Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae mainly affecting the skin, peripheral nerves. Leprosy has been officially eliminated from India since December 2005, still wide variations in prevalence rates continue to exist across the states and regions in the country. Aims and Objectives-The Purpose of the study is to determine the prevalence of smear-positive leprosy cases in post-elimination era in a rural tertiary care hospital in Nandyal, Andhra Pradesh.
... l, Andhra Pradesh. MATERIALS AND METHODS This is a retrospective record based study conducted over a period of 2 years from September 2014 to August 2016. Patients with clinical suspicion of leprosy were referred to the Department of Microbiology, Santhiram Medical College & Hospital where cases were confirmed by slit-skin smear examination. RESULTS Out of 83 clinically suspected cases (Male: Female ratio 1.67:1), 21 were diagnosed as smear positive for AFB of whom 12 (57.14%) were male & 9 (42.85%) were female. Maximum number of cases (61.90%) belonged to age group 21-40 years. 23.80% belonged to age group 41-60 years & 14.28% to 61-80 years. Most of the smear-positive cases had bacteriological indices lying between 1+ to 4+, with a majority of patients (28.57%) having BI of 1+. Globi (BI 6+) were seen in 4.76% of patients. Morphological indices varied from 10% to 60%. A decline in number of smear-positive cases was observed from 26.19% in 2014 to 24.39% in 2015. CONCLUSION The study shows that despite statistical elimination, leprosy is still in vogue. There is an urgent need to take up measures to keep a check on leprosy by timely surveillance, easy availability of multidrug therapy at all medical centres in India so that prompt treatment can be started to prevent damage to the nerves and prevent disabilities. Since transmission of leprosy is from man to man, the only way to achieve elimination is early diagnosis and treatment.