Leprosy in Buriticupu, State of Maranhão: active search for cases in the adult population

INTRODUCTION: This study aimed to analyze the leprosy situation, focusing on the adult population of the town of Buriticupu, State of Maranhão. METHODS: An active search was conducted to identify new cases from 2005 to 2007. All patients with injuries suggestive of leprosy were submitted to cutaneous bacilloscopy and biopsies were performed when defining the clinical presentation was difficulty. RESULTS: 15,409 individuals participated in the study and 62 were diagnosed with leprosy which represents a detection coefficient of 40.23/10,000. Bacilloscopy showed positive results in six patients. The predominant clinical form was tuberculoid, 31 cases, followed by the indeterminate form (20 cases), the dimorphous form (10 cases) and the lepromatous form (1 case). The study also identified other skin diseases, including pityriasis versicolor, scabies, mycosis, vitiligo and carcinoma. CONCLUSIONS: The high detection coefficient defines the town of Buriticupu, MA, as hyperendemic for leprosy. Active cases search is an important method for disease control.

Leprosy; Detection; Active search; State of Maranhão

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