Other Names for this Disease
bacterial infection that affects the skin, nerves and mucous membranes. After exposure, it may take anywhere from 2 to 10 years to develop features of the condition. Once present, common signs and symptoms include skin lesions; muscle weakness or paralysis; eye problems that may lead to blindness; nosebleeds; severe pain; and/or numbness in the hands, feet, arms and legs. Hansen's disease is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae; however, the way in which the bacterium is transmitted (spread) is poorly understood. It appears that only about 5% of people are susceptible to the condition. Hansen's disease is easily treated with combination antibiotics for 6 months to 2 years.Hansen's disease (also known as leprosy) is a rare
Last updated: 4/26/2015
- Hansen's Disease (Leprosy). Center for Disease Control and Prevention. April 2013; http://www.cdc.gov/leprosy/index.html.
- Leprosy. MedlinePlus. September 2013; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001347.htm.
- Leprosy (Hansen's Disease). National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases. September 2013; http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/leprosy/Pages/Default.aspx.
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- The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library provides information on this condition for patients and caregivers.
- The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
- Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
- The Merck Manual for health care professionals provides information on Hansen's disease.
- MeSH® (Medical Subject Headings) is a terminology tool used by the National Library of Medicine. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
- Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
- PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Hansen's disease. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.