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Health:认识,了解及预防麻风病

kira86 于2009-10-14发布 l 已有人浏览
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Leprosy: An Old Disease That Claimed a New Saint高速下载 This is the VOA Special English Health Report.麻风病
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Leprosy: An Old Disease That Claimed a New Saint


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This is the VOA Special English Health Report.

麻风病是由麻风杆菌引起的一种慢性接触性传染病。主要侵犯人体皮肤和神经,如果不治疗可引起皮肤、神经、四肢和眼的进行性和永久性损害。麻风病的流行历史悠久,分布广泛,给流行区人民带来深重灾难。要控制和消灭麻风病,必须坚持“预防为主”的方针,贯彻“积极防治,控制传染”的原则,执行“边调查、边隔离、边治疗”的做法,积极发现和控制传染病源,切断传染途径,同时提高周围自然人群的免疫力,对流行地区的儿童、患者家属以及麻风菌素及结核菌素反应均为阴性的密切接触者给予卡介苗接种,或给予有效的化学药物进行预防性治疗。
  
麻风病是一种毁容的疾病,在世界范围内曾是一种常见的病,甚至《圣经》里也曾提到过麻风病。患者多处发生溃疡,并可导致残疾。儿童最容易患这种病,感染这种病后要过2---7年才会发病。

Pope Benedict named five new saints on Sunday, including a Catholic clergyman who cared for people in a leper colony.

Father Damien was born Joseph De Veuster in Belgium. In eighteen seventy-three he went to the Hawaiian island of Molokai. After several years of working in the colony, he himself developed leprosy. Father Damien died in eighteen eighty-nine. He was forty-nine years old.

Leprosy -- also called Hansen's disease -- is a bacterial disease that causes skin wounds and nerve damage. The disease can severely disfigure victims and cause death. Untreated patients can spread the bacteria from their nose and mouth through the air to people who are near them a lot.

But doctors have been able to treat leprosy since the nineteen forties. Today they use a combination of three drugs. Experts say after the first treatment, patients can no longer infect others.

At the start of this year there were two hundred thirteen thousand cases of leprosy reported in one hundred twenty-one countries. The World Health Organization says there were almost two hundred fifty thousand new cases last year. But the drug combination can cure the disease within six to twelve months.

The number of new cases has been falling in many countries. But there are places where leprosy is still spreading quickly. These include areas of Angola, Brazil, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and India. Other areas are in Madagascar, Mozambique, Nepal and Tanzania.

Leprosy is an ancient disease. It victims have been highly stigmatized -- often blamed for their condition and made to feel unclean. In India, leprosy has traditionally been considered a punishment for something bad done in a former life. Other cultures have considered it a sign of evil.

James Staples teaches in the School of Social Sciences at Brunel University in Britain. He is author of the book "Peculiar People, Amazing Lives: Leprosy, Social Exclusion and Community Making in South India."

He tells us that modern knowledge about leprosy does not necessarily reduce the stigma. Public health campaigns spread the message that leprosy is curable and not highly infectious. Yet he says this message is often more scary for people than the idea that leprosy is some sort of spiritual punishment. That explanation may not do much for the patient's place in society, he says, "but at least other people don't think they are going to catch it."

And that's the VOA Special English Health Report, written by Caty Weaver. I'm Steve Ember.

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