June 20, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Second case of leprosy reported in Greece

This is the second case of leprosy detected in Greece in the last couple of days. A 65-year-old woman is in isolation at the Patras hospital, in the northwest Peloponnese, and the patient with the first case has been admitted to the infectious disease ward of the Attica hospital in Athens.

According to the state broadcaster ERT and local media, a woman being treated in isolation at the dermatology clinic of the University Hospital of Rio. Isolation is necessary to prevent the spread of an infectious disease.

The case was confirmed by laboratory tests at Rio and Attikon hospitals. It is reported that the state of health of the woman does not cause concern among the medical staff. There is no information on whether the woman went abroad, reports ERT with reference to sources in the hospital.

On Sunday, in connection with a case of suspected monkeypoxSpyridon Pournaras, professor of microbiology at the Attikon hospital, said that a patient infected with leprosy is being treated at a hospital in the west of Athens. Also this patient was from the Peloponnese, said Purnaras.

“We found such a case the day before yesterday. There are cases of old diseases that have been forgotten, but we must be vigilant so that there is no spread, ”said Pournaras “Open TV” . He added that one case of leprosy was also detected in 2020.

There is still no official statement from the Greek National Health Organization EODY about cases of leprosy.


Leprosy, also leprosy (less known names: Hansen’s disease, hansenosis, hanseniasis; elephantiasis graecorum, lepra arabum, lepra orientalis, Phoenician disease, satyriasis, mournful disease, Crimean disease, Crimean disease, lazy death, St. Lazarus disease and others) – a type of granulomatosis (chronic infectious disease) caused by mycobacteria Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis. It occurs with predominant lesions of the skin, peripheral nervous system, sometimes the anterior chamber of the eyes, upper respiratory tract above the larynx, testicles, as well as hands and feet.

Despite the fact that leprosy not very contagious, rarely causes death and can be effectively treated with antibiotics, it continues to be a serious social stigma. There probably remains some misunderstanding of the etiology of the disease because leprosy was incurable until the advent of effective antibiotics in the 1940s. People with this disease appeared disfigured and often showed significant signs of disability, causing fear and a desire to avoid contact with them from other people. Because of this social stigmatization, the psychological impact of leprosy is often significant.

Leprosy is transmitted through secretions from the nose and mouth, during close and frequent contact with people who are not being treated.

Leprosy is officially included in the group of neglected diseases according to the World Health Organization, as it turned out, this was done too early.

During the 1990s, the number of people with leprosy worldwide dropped from 10-12 million to 1.8 million, and to this day continues to fluctuate between tens and hundreds of thousands of people a year.

Although the number of cases in the world continues to fall, the disease is still widespread in parts of Brazil, South Asia (India, Nepal), East Africa (Tanzania, Madagascar, Mozambique) and the Western Pacific. In terms of the number of people suffering from leprosy, India ranks first in the world, Brazil second and Burma third. In 2000, WHO listed 91 countries with endemic foci of leprosy. India, Burma and Nepal together accounted for 70% of cases.

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