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Int J Dermatol ; 60(8): 1003-1006, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1280318


This study analyzed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the detection of new cases of leprosy in the state of Bahia, Brazil. The periods January-September 2019 and January-September 2020 were compared. There was a 44.40% reduction in the diagnosis of leprosy when comparing the two periods (1,705 in 2019 and 948 in 2020). There was a reduction in the number of municipalities with reported cases: 251 municipalities in 2019 and 202 in 2020, expressing a reduction of 24.25%. Considering only the months following the arrival of the virus (April-September), the reduction was 51.10%. An inverse correlation was observed between the number of new cases of leprosy and the cumulative number of cases of COVID-19 (Spearman's correlation coefficient = -0.840; P < 0.001) and the number of new monthly cases of COVID-19 (Spearman's correlation coefficient = -0.817; P < 0.001). A slight increase was also observed in the proportion of multibacillary cases in the state (70.38% in 2019 and 72.69% in 2020) as well as in the proportion of individuals with the degree of physical disability not assessed at diagnosis, whose proportion rose from 16.39% in 2019 to 22.53% in 2020. The negative impact of COVID-19 in tackling leprosy should be seen as a warning sign for health and political authorities.

COVID-19 , Leprosy , Brazil/epidemiology , Endemic Diseases , Humans , Leprosy/diagnosis , Leprosy/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2