Published Online: November 23, 2019


Leprosy: a reemerging disease in the Brazilian public health

Daniela Diniz Simões de Medeiros Carvalho, Caroline Ângela Hirschheiter, Rafaela Lemos Maia, Carolina Maria da Silva,

Pauliana Valéria Machado Galvão

ABSTRACT Leprosy, since biblical times, brings stigmas that trigger negative social repercussions, delaying diagnosis and adherence to treatment. It is a chronic granulomatous infectious contagious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae, transmitted by inhalation through prolonged contact of individuals with the genetic predisposition of the sick person. Associated with this, populations in additional vulnerability, poverty, low-income underemployment, inadequate rooming, and many residents favor overlapping cases, creating endemic pockets in the Brazilian territory. The lack of clinical-immunological knowledge of pathology feeds the stigmas regarding image, social guilt and family descent, forcing the individual to isolate themselves from social life, generating a vicious cycle of inequality and social vulnerability.