Epidemiological profile of leprosy in children under 15 in Manaus (Northern Brazil), 1998-2005.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the epidemiological status of leprosy in children living in a metropolitan area.
METHODS: There were studied 474 leprosy cases detected in children under 15 living in the metropolitan area of the city of Manaus, Northern Brazil, between 1998 and 2005. The endemic profile and quality of care services were assessed based on data from the Notifiable Diseases Information System using epidemiological and operational indicators of the National Leprosy Elimination Program.
RESULTS: Of all leprosy cases detected in the period studied, 10.4% were found in children under 15. The detection rates in this age group remained at hyperendemic levels between 1998 and 2003, and decreased from 2004 onwards but keeping on very high endemic levels. The most common clinical form was tuberculoid followed by dimorphous. Paucibacillary forms were seen in 70.7% of the cases. The level of disability at the time of diagnosis was assessed in 94.7% of patients and 2.9% of them had physical disabilities. Most children (99.4%) were treated with the multiple drug regimen recommended by the World Health Organization.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite its decrease, detection rate of leprosy in children in the city of Manaus remains at a very high endemic level.