Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease, affecting mainly the skin and peripheral nerves, which can lead to severe disability. Since antibacterial multidrug therapy against leprosy was introduced in 1981, the number of cases of leprosy worldwide has plummeted.
To fully interrupt transmission in countries such as Morocco, however, additional control efforts are needed. In 2012, Morocco introduced a program to administer Single Dose Rifampicin Chemoprophylaxis (SDRC) to stop the spread of leprosy between household contacts.
Between 2000 and 2012, the annual percent change of leprosy cases was -4.68% per year. However, after the implementation of SDRC, between 2012 and 2017, the annual percent change was -16.83% per year.
In particular, the number of cases decreased more quickly after 2012 in men, children, ten specific regions, and in both urban and rural areas. During the last five years, an average of just 26 new cases per year were detected.
"This time series can be of interest for the medical community as the authors analyze the trends in leprosy in the last 17 years and try to generate a hypothesis about any relationship with chemoprophylaxis implementation," the researchers say.
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