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Story Publication logo June 3, 2020

A Pressing Precaution: Reporter Takes Leprosy Evaluation Before Heading Home

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After more than a week of physical discomfort and skin irritation, Mariualdo do vale Monterio takes a Slit-skin Smear test at the Center of Diagnostics in Marituba. After the test, Maria Gonden, the nurse conducting the procedure, will search Monterio's DNA samples for mycobacterium leprae—the bacterium that causes leprosy. Image by Anton L. Delgado. Brazil, 2020.
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A declining number of leprologists rely on questionable data as they try to eliminate the growing...

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2020 Reporting Fellow Anton L. Delgado grimaces as Raquel Bouth, a Ph.D. student studying microbiology, takes a sample from the olecranal skin on his left elbow. This was the final part of Delgado’s leprosy evaluation that he took after nearly a month of field work in northern Brazil. Image by Moises Silva. Brazil, 2020.
2020 Reporting Fellow Anton L. Delgado grimaces as Raquel Bouth, a Ph.D. student studying microbiology, takes a sample from the olecranal skin on his left elbow. This was the final part of Delgado’s leprosy evaluation that he took after nearly a month of field work in northern Brazil. Image by Moises Silva. Brazil, 2020.

MARITUBA, Brazil — You can never be too sure when it comes to infectious diseases, especially not one like leprosy. After nearly a month of reporting in former leprosy colonies, dermatology centers, and neglected disease laboratories, I decided to take and document my own leprosy evaluation.

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