Leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease (HD), is a chronic infection caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis. It affects the skin and the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord, eyes and the thin tissue lining the inside of the nose.
The main symptom of leprosy is disfiguring skin sores, Muscle weakness, lumps, or bumps and Nerve damage can lead to Loss of feeling in the arms and legs that do not go away after several weeks or months. Multi-drug therapy has significantly improved treatment for people with leprosy which includes ofloxacin (Floxin), or minocycline, rifampicin (monthly) and dapsone (daily), corticosteroids, salicylates, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). With improvements in living conditions and medical care, the incidence of leprosy in Hong Kong has declined significantly.
The number of new cases has remained between three to six new cases per year in the past five years and the prevalence rate remains between 0.02-0.04 per 10,000 populations.