Relapsed Cases Of Leprosy In A Hyperendemic City In Northeast Brazil
Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease enhanced by unfavorable conditions of housing, sanitation and number of cohabitants, especially in cases of relapses.
Objective: To evaluate the relapsed cases of leprosy from 2001 to 2014 in a Brazilian capital.
Methods: This is a cross-sectional study conducted in Teresina, a city considered hyperendemic for leprosy. Association Tests (chi-square test or Fisher's exact test) were carried out.
Results: Three hundred and six cases were reported, of which 42.5% were registered in Basic Health Units (BHUs) and 57.5%, in Reference Units (RUs), with predominance of multibacillary forms. There was an association of clinical form of the disease (p < 0.01) and number of affected nerves (p < 0.05) with health units that reported cases. The number of records where the clinical form was ignored was greater in BHUs than in RUs, and the record of the dimorphic form was more frequent in URs.
Conclusions: There are similarities with other studies, but it is believed that underreporting of cases take place in the studied city. Thus, greater attention to confirm the diagnosis of relapse is necessary. Training health professionals on epidemiological surveillance is essentially important, as well as the approrpiate conduct in relapsed cases of the disease in the context of public health.
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