If I am diagnosed with Leprosy, what can I do to protect my family from being infected (Tamil)
A few days after you have started the treatment you cannot transmit leprosy to others. So, there is no reason to isolate yourself.
It may be very helpful to inform your family about the situation. Make sure that they understand that after starting the treatment it is no longer a problem, for example, to eat together or hug each other. You don’t need to be afraid to continue going to school or to work, taking part in social life in the family or community, in religious festivals or other activities.
But it is important that you don’t hide your diagnosis. It is important that you complete the full treatment.
Your family members, who had close and frequent contact with you, should ask someone from the health center to check their whole body for leprosy patches and also afterwards they should check regularly for skin patches. This way, they can detect the early signs of the disease and in case someone is affected, can get treatment early and avoid being affected.
Also, it is possible to take a medicine that can protect the person from getting the disease. It can kill the germs. The person only has to take it once. She or he should talk to a health worker. If a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding, she should inform the health worker before starting the treatment, as it may be necessary to adapt the medicines in order to protect the baby! But usually, she can and should take the treatment as it is safe for both, mother and child.
Also, it is very important to pay attention to a good prevention in general. If she or he can strengthen her or his body's defenses, it will help in resisting a contagion. She or he can pay attention to hygiene, for example, washing hands before eating and after toilet, drinking clean water and eating a healthy and varied diet, comprising different types of fruits and vegetables.