Kanji: 痛. Radical: 疒. Number of strokes: 12. Meaning: “ pain”. Pronunciation: ツウ、いた-い、いた-む、いた-めるtsū, ita-i, ita-mu, ita-meru.
“Hansen’s disease (also known as leprosy) is an infection caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium leprae. These bacteria grow very slowly and it may take up to 20 years to develop signs of the infection. The disease can affect the nerves, skin, eyes, and lining of the nose (nasal mucosa). The bacteria attack the nerves, which can become swollen under the skin. This can cause the affected areas to lose the ability to sense touch and pain, which can lead to injuries, like cuts and burns. Usually, the affected skin changes color and either becomes:
• lighter or darker, often dry or flaky, with loss of feeling, or
• reddish due to inflammation of the skin.”