The Prevalence of Previously Undiagnosed Leprosy in the General Population of Northwest Bangladesh

FJ (Fake) Moet, RP Schuring, D Pahan, L Oskam, Jan hendrik Richardus

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Background: The prevalence of previously undiagnosed leprosy (PPUL) in the general population was determined to estimate the background level of leprosy in the population and to compare this with registered prevalence and the known PPUL in different levels of contacts of leprosy patients. Methodology and Principal Findings: Multistage cluster sampling including 20 clusters of 1,000 persons each in two districts with over 4 million population. Physical examination was performed on all individuals. The number of newly found leprosy cases among 17,862 people above 5 years of age from the cluster sample was 27 (19 SLPB, 8 PB2-5), giving a PPUL rate of 15.1 per 10,000. Conclusions and Significance: PPUL in the general population is six times higher than the registered prevalence, but three times lower than that in the most distant subgroup of contacts (neighbour of neighbour and social contacts) of leprosy patients in the same area. Full village or neighbourhood surveys may be preferable to contact surveys where leprosy is highly endemic.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases (print)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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