Cancun, Q.R. — State head of the Ministry of Health, Alejandra Aguirre Crespo, confirmed that cases of leprosy have been detected in the Maya area, the latest of detections and the first for Quintana Roo.
Hansen’s disease or leprosy, has already been detected in other states around Mexico including Yucatan, Sinaloa and Jalisco.
Aguirre Crespo reports that so far this year, the Yucatan Peninsula has registered seven cases adding that Quintana Roo remains vigilant in the event more cases of leprosy is reported throughout state medical facilities.
According to the Epidemiological Surveillance System, the Yucatan Peninsula reports seven cases of leprosy, of which four correspond to Yucatan, two to Quintana Roo and one in Campeche.
States with the highest record of leprosy are Sinaloa and Jalisco.
Aguirre Crespo affirmed that this is a disease present in the country that can be controlled with adequate treatment as long as patients go to the doctor during the first stages.
“There are areas where we can identify more cases. In the case of Yucatán I think they do an intensive search and those are the most important preventative actions because it means that they are doing their job by searching for patients to ensure timely treatments”, he pointed out.
He indicated that the cases reported in Quintana Roo are located in the Mayan jungle region, which are being treated and monitored by the health authorities.
Hansen’s disease (HD), or leprosy, is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae. It is a chronic disease affecting the skin and nerves, commonly presenting as pale or reddish skin patches with diminished sensation. Without treatment, it can progress to a severely debilitating disease with nerve damage, tissue destruction, and functional loss.
Each year in the US there are just under 200 cases of leprosy reported, of which more than 65 percent are men.
An important factor in limiting HD morbidity is early diagnosis and prompt initiation of therapy. Although not highly contagious, HD is thought to be transmitted through nasal secretions.