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Clinico-Epidemiological Spectrum of Childhood Leprosy in Post-Elimination Era: A Multi-Centre, Cross-Sectional Study from West Bengal
Childhood leprosy is a major concern in the post-elimination era as it reflects active disease transmission. This study aims to analyse the clinico-demographic profile of childhood leprosycases attending two tertiary care centres of West Bengal over a period of 18 months from April 2018 to June 2019. 32 children (<16 years) with histologically confirmed Hansen's disease were subjected to detailed history including contact screening and clinical examination. These comprised of 10.6% (32/303) of all new leprosy cases which were treated at these centres. Findings indicated that thirty-two children with leprosy (mean age 12.53± 3.01 years; M:F 25:7) constituted 10.6% of all new leprosy cases. Borderline tuberculoid (53.1%) was most the frequently seen type, while household contacts were identified in 25% cases, all multibacillary. Patch over hands was the commonest presentation. The ulnar nerve was involved most frequently (47.2%), followed by the common peroneal nerve (18.9%). Lepra reaction (type1>type 2) and disabilities (grade 2> grade 1) were noted in 18.8% children each. Lepra reaction showed a significant association with multibacillary leprosy, while disabilities significantly correlated with the number of skin lesions. Slit skin smear was positive in 21.8% of patients. Clinicord pathological correlation was observed in 2/3 cases, mostly BT type. The high incidence of childhood leprosy in our set-up suggests active diseases transmission even in the post-elimination era. Thus, active intervention is required to control its transmission and prevent complications in childhood leprosy cases in this part of the country.
Year of Publication
Indian Journal of Leprosy
Number of Pages