Revista Paulista de Pediatria
Print version ISSN 0103-0582
PIRES, Carla Andrea A. et al. Leprosy in children under 15 years: the importance of early diagnosis. Rev. paul. pediatr. [online]. 2012, vol.30, n.2, pp. 292-295. ISSN 0103-0582. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-05822012000200022.
OBJECTIVE: To describe two cases of leprosy in children under 15 years old, being one patient aged with 18 months and other 13 years, diagnosed by different modes of detection, emphasizing the importance of examining the contacts. CASE DESCRIPTION: One of the cases was diagnosed early by examining household contacts, while the other was diagnosed by spontaneous demand, after four years of the onset of lesions, although he had been a former patient contact who was not examined at the time. COMMENTS: In endemic countries, the high detection of leprosy in children under 15 years old reveals the persistence of the bacillus transmission and the difficulties encountered by public health programs to control the disease. Delay in leprosy diagnosis leads to sequels and deformities and, thus, the search for contacts is important as an effective method for early diagnosis of the disease in childhood, where clinical signs are not always easy to be identified due to the great variety of clinical forms in which the disease may occur.
Keywords : leprosy; epidemiology; pediatrics.