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What is the cure for leprosy?

A picture of the blister packs that contain the treatment for leprosy
© Ala Kheir

Leprosy is a disease caused by a germ called Mycobacterium.leprae (M. leprae). The germ is primarily spread through water droplets passed from a person who is infectious (has not started treatment). The water droplets spread through speech, sneezing, and coughing over a long period of time.

Only 1 in 10 of people affected by leprosy are infectious.

Leprosy is cured by antibiotics

Around 95 percent of people have an immune system that is capable of defending the body against the M.leprae germ. For those who do go on to develop leprosy, it is cured by a combination of three antibiotics known as Multi Drug Therapy. These antibiotics are effective at killing the M.leprae germ.

Once a person has started Multi Drug Therapy, it is no longer possible for them to spread the disease.

It is important to start treatment early

Leprosy is entirely curable if a person starts treatment as soon as they notice symptoms and if they follow the treatment plan that is given to them by a health worker.

Delayed or incomplete treatment can lead to complications that are harder to cure. The M.leprae germ can damage the hands, feet, and eyes.

The cure for leprosy is free

Multi Drug Therapy, the cure for leprosy, is available for free across the world. You do not need to pay to access this treatment.

Learn more about leprosy treatment >