ROSTOV-ON-DON, January 8 – RIA Novosti, Yulia Nasulina. Six new cases of leprosy (leprosy) were detected in Russia in 2020, while a year earlier only one new case of this disease was recorded in the country, Viktor Duiko, director of the Research Institute for the Study of Leprosy, told RIA Novosti.
The institute is located in the Astrakhan region and is the only such state institution in the country engaged in the diagnosis and treatment of this disease. “Last year we had six new cases of leprosy throughout Russia: in a resident of St. Petersburg, in a resident of Kalmykia and other cases – residents of the Astrakhan region from the old active foci of leprosy, “Duiko said. He clarified that all six cases are primary. In 2019, only one such active patient was identified, and two more patients had relapses.
“The growth (in the number of identified patients) is associated with better diagnostics – one time. COVID patch – two,” the agency's interlocutor said. He added that the coronavirus leads to an exacerbation of all infectious diseases and aggravates the course of the disease, especially since leprosy is an immunodeficiency condition.
Leprosy, or leprosy, is a chronic infectious disease caused by mycobacteria. It is characterized by lesions of the skin, mucous membranes, peripheral nervous system, internal organs. Leprosy is curable, and early treatment can avoid disability.
The Astrakhan region today remains the most significant and active leprosy focus in Russia, about 60% of all registered patients live there (according to the “Research Institute for the Study of Leprosy”, 124 people).