Public health applications of Hansen's disease research and treatment.
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Public health applications of Hansen's disease research and treatment.

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      Public Health Rep
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      Because of the similarities in causative agents of Hansen's disease and tuberculosis, Hansen's disease research is now being used in the identification, treatment, and prevention of tuberculosis. Numerous studies are under way to screen and develop new drugs to combat the threat of multiple drug-resistant tuberculosis. Additional studies focus on factors to reduce the transmission of tuberculosis and on the development of techniques for early diagnosis and identification of drug resistance. Advances in Hansen's disease research and treatment also are being applied to the prevention of ulcers and amputations in diabetics and others without protective sensation in their feet. The Lower Extremity Amputation Prevention Program, developed at the Gillis W. Long Hansen's Disease Center in Carville, LA, is a multidisciplinary approach that includes screening, risk assessment, and the development of a treatment plan with an emphasis on patient involvement. Expected to prevent up to 90 percent of diabetes-related amputations, the program is being implemented in Jackson, MS, in a community-based diabetic foot program and will be replicated throughout the United States.
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