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Pregnant,went to a leprosy rehabilitation center. Any harmful effect on baby?

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Practicing since : 2010
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Hello Dr.
My mother had a short trip with her friends to “Anandvan” ( in India, which is a Leprosy cure and rehabilitation center for Leprosy afflicted people. They also ate food prepared by cured leprosy people and saw projects/small businesses run by them. I think they spent a day at the center. I also read that many visitors visit this place on a regular basis etc. However, eversince I got this news I am terrified about any possibility of her catching the infection there.
I am stressed out thinking about this day and night; I read that this disease is difficult to catch and 95% of people have a natural immunity towards it etc. Is this true that these 95% of people who have natural immunity will not contract it even upon prolonged intimate contact? Also, the remaning poeple with low immunity also need to have a prolonged contact with the untreated person to contract it? My mother has arthritis, does that make her susceptible to it?

I would like to know if there should be any concern and if we should do anything at this time.
I am really looking for an answer that will relieve my stress as soon as possible and I can concentrate on my day to day activities.


Posted Wed, 6 Mar 2013 in Pregnancy
Answered by Dr. Rahul Kumar 2 hours later
Thanks for writing to us.
You seem to be stressed, so straightway I mention here, there is no chance at all that your mother gets leprosy.

You have read correct, it needs genetic susceptibility, arthritis is not a genetic disease, nor does it make any one genetically susceptible to leprosy.
To relieve your tension further, I will mention few quick facts.
1.Rifampicin, the medicine for leprosy kills almost 100% leprosy bacilli just with a single dose. This dose is given to a person on first day of admission.
So even if your mother met few leprosy patients, be assured that they were non infectious.
2. A study was done on 100 people of different age group working at leprosorium (like XXXXXXX bhavan), for 50 years. You will be surprised to know NOT EVEN A SINGLE person developed leprosy.
I hope this evidence was good enough to make you believe, how low is the infectivity of leprosy.

Be assured, she is not going to develop leprosy.
Hope I answered your query, and help you relieve from worries.
Feel free to ask, if you have any further queries.
Thank you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Pregnant,went to a leprosy rehabilitation center. Any harmful effect on baby? 5 hours later
Thank you Dr. XXXXXXX for your reply.

I have a few follow up questions.

1. Can you elaborate on the genetic susceptibility part? Is prolonged contact required even for these (5%) susceptible people to develop the disease?

2. Also, Is there any possibility for you to share the article (paper) with that study with me? or provide me with the reference?

Thanks a bunch,

Answered by Dr. Rahul Kumar 52 minutes later
Thanks for the follow up query.

In 95%, people leprosy will not develop even after prolonged contact.

It can develop only in 5% and that too after prolonged contact.

Regarding the study, it is quiet old and done in India.

Our teachers have taught it.

Dr Bhakta XXXXXXX publishes it in a book.

You might not be able to access this book in your country.

Thank you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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