BCG vaccine can be used to protect against Leprosy
Reviews of current evidence shows the BCG vaccine consistently shows some degree of protection against the disease but this level of protection can vary. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20109030
Leprosy affects 15 countries worldwide in Africa, Asia and Latin America, there are more than 180,000 new cases each year WHO 2012
The disease is caused by slow-growing bacteria, Mycobacterium leprae, which is related to Mycobacterium tuberculosis which causes tuberculosis. The disease is spread by close and frequent contact with untreated infected individuals via discharge and droplets from the nose and mouth.
The disease mainly affects the skin, the peripheral nerves, mucus membranes of the throat and also the eyes.
Leprosy is curable with multi-drug therapy treatment which if given in the early stages stops disability, along with routine vaccination with BCG to children in infected countries. This multi-drug treatment has been made free by the WHO to all patients worldwide since 1995 and provides a simple yet highly effective cure for all types of leprosy.
For our clients who may be going to do voluntary work in developing countries who have not received a BCG vaccination The Travel Clinic Ltd can offer both the Mantoux and BCG vaccination.
This does affect all those under the age of 22 as the British vaccination scheme for 12-14 year olds was stopped, so while living in East Anglia, one is not at huge risk, but on becoming a healthcare worker or travelling abroad it raises the risks
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