Leprosy scene to be deleted from 'The Pirates! Band of Misfits' movie

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This is a scene from the "lepers boat" in The Pirates! Band of Misfits.

In an upcoming 3D stop-motion animation film called "The Pirates! Band of Misfits," a crew member explains, "Afraid we don't have any gold old man; this is a leper-boat."

Then, his arm falls off. 

After complaints from leprosy support groups including Lepra Health in Action and the International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations (ILEP), film animation company Aardman decided Tuesday to remove this scene, reported BBC.

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The scene that stirred controversy is featured in the trailer of "The Pirates! Band of Misfits," a stop-motion 3D animation film directed by Aardman's Peter Lord and Jeff Newitt and features the voices of Hugh Grant, David Tennant and Salma Hayek. 

Lepra Health in Action released a statement saying that it is not only "genuinely delighted" but also impressed by the filmmakers' "respect and sensitivity for those who suffer from leprosy."

What exactly is leprosy? Here are common myths and facts you should know about the disease:

Myth: Leprosy is a curse.

Fact: Leprosy is not a curse from God. Also called Hansen's Disease, leprosy is caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium leprae. It is a chronic disease that involves the skin and nerves of infected individuals. Pale patches of skin are common symptoms of the disease that are often ignored because they are painless and do not itch. The disease also numbs the cooler parts of the body like the hands, feet and face.

Myth: There is no cure for leprosy.

Fact: The cure is multi-drug therapy. At first, natural remedies were used to alleviate some of the discomfort. In 1982, however, the World Health Organization announced that multi-drug therapy (MDT) a combination of clofazimine, rifampicin and dapsone, should be used to kill the bacteria that causes leprosy.  

Myth: Nobody gets leprosy anymore.

Fact: A person is diagnoised with leprosy every 2 minutes, says Leprah Health in ActionAccording to the World Health Organization (WHO) 228,474 new leprosy cases were detected during 2010.

"The Pirates! Band of Misfits" will be released in the US on Apr. 27.

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