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Pregnant. Had a visit to leprosy rehabilitation center. Will this cause any harm to an unborn?

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Practicing since : 2006
Answered : 2015 Questions
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 "ashram". 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 28 weeks pregnant with twins living in the US, and I am stressed out thinking about this day and night; which is extremely harmful for me and my babies. I read that this disease is difficult to catch and 95% of people have a natural immunity towards it etc. But 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 pregnancy again.

Thank you doctor for your answer.
Posted Sat, 2 Mar 2013 in Pregnancy
Answered by Dr. Kalpana Pathak 45 minutes later
Be assured she would not get any infection.
Firstly leprosy is a mildly infectious disease and to develop infection a prolonged close contact is required. Secondly, it also depends upon one's immunity against infection. As your mother went for a single day to the centre, it is highly unlikely that she would get any infection
Also the patients at these centres have either recovered from the disease or on treatment and once a patient of leprosy is on treatment, they are rendered non infectious very soon.

So either ways there isn't a possibility of your mother contracting the disease.

Had leprosy been so infectious, chances of dermatologists who treat them on regular basis to get the disease would have been the most!

As you are in advanced stage of pregnancy, do not take any stress regarding your mother getting the disease. She will be fine and healthy.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Pregnant. Had a visit to leprosy rehabilitation center. Will this cause any harm to an unborn? 1 hour later
Dear Dr. Kalpana,

Thanks for your answer. One follow up question-

Do people with low immunity also need to have prolonged close contact for the infection to transmit or people with low immunity are at risk even with limited exposure?


Answered by Dr. Kalpana Pathak 7 hours later
Yes people with low immunity also need to have a prolonged close contact to get the infection. A single visit to leprosy centre where all the patients are either cured or on treatment are already non infectious and would in no way be a source of infection to anyone. Such visits to leprosy centres are allowed so that the social stigma attached with the disease can be reduced and these people can be incorporated in society back.
Do not worry, your mother will surely get no infection and will be fine. No treatment or prophylaxis is required.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Pregnant. Had a visit to leprosy rehabilitation center. Will this cause any harm to an unborn? 12 minutes later
Thank you Dr. Pathak.

This relieves my stress.

Answered by Dr. Kalpana Pathak 2 minutes later
Take care of yourself and keep worries at bay!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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