... the disease?
It is possible although I am not sure if leprosy is a blood borne pathogen. Here is what I found:
How is leprosy transmitted?
Researchers suggest that M. leprae are spread person to person by nasal secretions or droplets. However, the disease is not highly contagious like the flu. They speculate that infected droplets reach other peoples' nasal passages and begin the infection there. Some investigators suggest the infected droplets can infect others by entering breaks in the skin. M. leprae apparently cannot infect intact skin. Rarely, humans get leprosy from the few animal species mentioned above. Occurrence in animals makes it difficult to eradicate leprosy from endemic sources. Routes of transmission are still being researched for leprosy. Recent genetic studies have demonstrated that several genes (about seven) are associated with an increased susceptibility to leprosy; some researchers now conclude that susceptibility to leprosy may be partially inheritable.
So if infected droplets entered the break in the skin then it is possible. You should be tested to be sure whether or not you have it because it can be spread prior to your getting symptoms.
How is leprosy diagnosed?
The majority of cases of leprosy are diagnosed by clinical findings, especially since most current cases are diagnosed in areas that have limited or no laboratory equipment available. Hypopigmented patches of skin or reddish skin patches with loss of sensation, thickened peripheral nerves, or both clinical findings together often comprise the clinical diagnosis. Skin smears or biopsy material that show acid-fast bacilli with the Ziehl-Neelsen stain or the Fite stain (biopsy) can diagnose multibacillary leprosy, or if bacteria are absent, diagnose paucibacillary leprosy. Other tests can be done, but most of these are done by specialized labs and may help a clinician to place the patient in the more detailed Ridley-Jopling classification and are not routinely done (lepromin test, phenolic glycolipid-1 test, PCR, lymphocyte migration inhibition test or LMIT). Other tests such as CBC test, liver function tests, creatinine test, or a nerve biopsy may be done to help determine if other organ systems have been affected.
How is leprosy prevented?
Prevention of contact with droplets from nasal and other secretions from patients with untreated M. leprae infection currently is a way recommended to avoid the disease. Treatment of patients with appropriate antibiotics stops the person from spreading the disease. People who live with individuals who have untreated leprosy are about eight times as likely to develop the disease, because investigators speculate that family members have close proximity to infectious droplets. Leprosy is not hereditary, but recent findings suggest susceptibility to the disease may have a genetic basis.
Many people get exposed to leprosy throughout the world, but the disease in not highly contagious; researchers suggest that over 95% of exposures result in no disease, and further studies suggest that susceptibility may be based, in part, by a person's genetic makeup. In the U.S., there are about 200-300 new cases diagnosed per year, with most coming from exposures during foreign travel. The majority of worldwide cases are found in the tropics or subtropics (for example, Brazil, India, and Indonesia). The WHO reports about 500,000 to 700,000 new cases per year worldwide, with curing of about 14 million cases since 1985.
There is no commercially available vaccine available to prevent leprosy. However, there are reports of using BCG vaccine, the BCG vaccine along with heat-killed M. leprae organisms, and other preparations that may be protective or help to clear the infection or to shorten treatment. Except for BCG in some countries, these preparations are not readily available.
Animals (chimpanzees, mangabey monkeys, and nine-banded armadillos) rarely transfer M. leprae to humans; nonetheless, handling such animals in the wild is not advised. These animals are a source for endemic infections.
So as it says above, leprosy is not highly contagious and many people who are exposed do not get it. It is believed that around 95% of people are naturally immune and sufferers are no longer infectious after as little as 2 weeks of treatment, thank goodness, so it is possible, if the person who was infected had been treated long enough, he was no longer infectious when you were stuck. I would definitely want to be tested, if I were you so that you do know for sure and can be treated before it does damage as the nerve and skin damage can be permanent. It is generally agreed that the average incubation period is between three and five years but has been known in some cases to take as long as 30 years to show symptoms.
What is the prognosis (outcomes) of leprosy?
The prognosis of leprosy varies with the stage of the disease when first diagnosed and treated. For example, early diagnosis and treatment limits or prevents tissue damage so the person has a good outcome. However, if the patient's disease has progressed to more advanced disease, the complications listed below can markedly affect the patient's lifestyle, and thus the condition has a fair to poor prognosis.
Search for questions
Still looking for answers? Try searching for what you seek or ask your own question.
Posted 12 Jan 2011 • 1 answer
Posted 13 Feb 2012 • 1 answer
Posted 19 May 2015 • 1 answer
Posted 23 Oct 2015 • 1 answer
Posted 30 Mar 2017 • 1 answer