Leprosy, sometimes confessed thanks to Hansen ' s illness, is an infectious infection caused by disorder by Mycobacterium leprae, an aerobic, acerbic briskly, rod - shaped mycobacterium. The present brand of the malady comes from the discoverer of Mycobacterium leprae, Gerhard Armauer Hansen. Sufferers from Hansen ' s malady hold oftentimes been called lepers, although this title is falling into disuse both from the diminishing figure of leprosy patients and from pressure to avoid the demeaning connotations of the term. And, this title restraint sway to public misunderstanding thanks to the terms leprosy and leper are used prominence the Bible to expound a wide gamut of incurable skin conditions.

Leprosy used to epitomize incurable and intensely disfiguring. Lepers were shunned and underground direction leper colonies. Today, leprosy is chewed curable by multidrug antibiotic therapy. The main challenges for Hansen ' s disorder elimination efforts are to extent populations that obtain not somewhere established multidrug therapy services, come around detection of the malady, and lend patients bury eminent - level services and affordable drugs. Other than humans, the solitary plain avowed to buy for susceptible to leprosy is the armadillo.

history of leprosy

Hansen ' s malady has been recognized owing to a squeeze since the prelude of recorded history. Sensible has been reported for early considering 1350 BC dominion Egypt, manufacture substantive the oldest malady proclaimed according to Guinness Globe Records. Lepers obtain frequently lived on the edge of society, and the infection was oftentimes believed to retain been caused by a cleric ( or demonic ) malediction or strain. However, juice the Middle Ages factual was believed that lepers are unhappy by humans, but loved by Infinite spirit.

The Bible contains umpteen references to " leprosy ", which do not necessarily concern Hansen ' s disease. These words seem to have been used to cover a number of skin conditions of different etiology and severity. Under ancient Israelite law, the priests were required to be able to diagnose leprosy. The Israelites also used quarantine to prevent its spread.

In the Middle Ages, it was believed that leprosy is highly contagious and could be spread by the glance of a leper or an unseen leper standing upwind of healthy people. Nowadays, it is known that leprosy is much less contagious.

Minorities like the Navarrese agotes or French cagots were accused of being lepers.

leprosy symptoms

The disease is caused by a mycobacterium which multiplies very slowly and mainly affects the skin, nerves, and mucous membranes. The organism has never been grown in bacteriologic media or cell culture, but has been grown in mouse foot pads and more recently in nine - banded armadilloes. It is related to M. tuberculosis, the mycobacterium that causes tuberculosis. The difficulty in culturing the organism appears to be due to the fact that the organism is an obligate intra - cellular parasite that lacks many necessary genes for independent survival. This loss of genes is apparently also the reason for the extremely slow replication rate.

The mode of transmission of Hansen ' s disease remains uncertain. Most investigators think that M. leprae is usually spread from person to person in respiratory droplets. What is known is that the transmission rate is very low. In addition, it appears that a majority of the population is naturally immune. Also, contrary to popular belief, Hansen ' s disease does not cause rotting of the flesh; however, due to nerve damage, extremities may become numb which may lead to minor infected wounds being unnoticed until damage is permanent.

Leprosy Symptoms are usually seen affecting the skin and peripheral nerves but has a wide range of possible clinical manifestations. Patients are classified as having paucibacillary or multibacillary Hansen ' s disease. Paucibacillary Hansen ' s disease is milder and characterized by one or more hypopigmented skin macules. Multibacillary Hansen ' s disease is associated with symmetric skin lesions, nodules, plaques, thickened dermis, and frequent involvement of the nasal mucosa resulting in nasal congestion and epistaxis ( nose bleeds ).