Kolkata:World Leprosy Day was first observed in 1954. The prime focus of the day is to eradicate the ailment and bring in a better, healthier living among people. Once called the ‘separating sickness’ for the way in which it separated families, Leprosy is caused by Mycobacterium leprae, a slow-multiplying bacteria that incubates for up to five years.
Sometimes, it can take 20 years for symptoms of the disease to appear. They typically include painful skin lesions and growths; thick, stiff, or dry skin; muscle weakness and paralysis, enlarged nerves, eye problems, and ulcers on the bottom of feet. Leprosy can result in numbness in some parts of the body.