Characteristics of known leprosy contact in a high endemic area in Brazil.

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TitleCharacteristics of known leprosy contact in a high endemic area in Brazil.
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsDeps PD, Guedes BVS, Bucker Filho J, Andreatta MK, Marcari RS, Rodrigues LC
Abbrev. JournalLepr Rev
JournalLeprosy review
Year of Publication2006
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Brazil, Contact Tracing, Endemic Diseases, Family, Female, Humans, Leprosy, Male, Middle Aged, Risk Factors

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The annual number of new cases of leprosy has not declined in Brazil over the last 15 years, indicating that transmission continues at the same level. To study transmission, we interviewed leprosy patients about their known leprosy contact (KLC).

METHODS: Clinical and demographic data were collected from 506 leprosy patients in four health units in the Metropolitan Region of Vitŕia, State of Espírito Santo, Brazil. SPSS 9.0 was used as a database and analysis.

RESULTS: Two hundred and twenty-six (44.7%) of 506 leprosy patients reported KLC, 136 (60.2%) of 226 were parents. Among 226, the mean of KLC was 1.89 (SD +/- 1.65), and 61.3% had one KLC. KLC as a household contact was reported by 92 (40.7%) out of 226, and 121 (53.5%) had no household contact. KLC were most frequently sisters and brothers in the PB cases, and sons/daughters in MB cases. Mothers occurred more frequently as a KLC than fathers. From the leprosy patients that had reported household contacts, 73% said that at the onset of their skin lesions, the KLCs were either undergoing were not yet released from treatment (RFT), and 23.45% had not begun the treatment yet. Altogether, 62.3% of 226 cases had daily contact with the KLC.

CONCLUSION: In Brazil, household contacts, including the family members (mothers, sisters and brothers), as well as the social contact need to be investigated by the control programs.

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Shelf markDEPS 2006