Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the diagnosis of new leprosy cases in Northeastern Brazil, 2020.

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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 

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Authors: Thais Silva Matos, Vanessa Almeida do Nascimento, Rodrigo Feliciano do Carmo, Tânia Rita Moreno de Oliveira Fernandes, Carlos Dornels Freire de Souza, Tarcísio Fulgêncio Alves da Silva