Leprosy in the past

One of the oldest diseases of mankind

1750 BC: The Code of Hammurapi mentions that "lepers shall be excluded from society".

600 BC: In the Bible, the laws of Leviticus (Leviticus) govern the diagnosis and treatment of leprosy patients.

400 BC: Chinese medical texts mention leprosy for the first time.

200 BC: Bone lesions due to leprosy are clearly visible on an Egyptian mummy.

100 BC: Leprosy was probably brought to Europe from Egypt by soldiers from Pompeii, and unfortunately spread across the continent through traders.

Circa 30 AD: Jesus, by divine power, healed several lepers, and commanded his disciples, "Heal the sick, ...cleanse the lepers!" (Matthew 10:7-8).

11th century: As a result of the Crusades, there are now an enormous number of lepers in Europe. They are isolated and leprosariums (leprosarium) are established, where the community cares for the sick until they die.

13th century: King Louis of France entrusts lepers to the care of the Lazarist order. At that time, there were already 19 000 leprosariums in the country.

15th century: The disease is spreading to America. South America, especially Brazil, is home to a large number of patients.

1873: Norwegian scientist Gerhard Armauer Hansen is the first to describe the leprosy pathogen Mycobacterium leprae.

1946: The first effective medicine in thousands of years: dapsone.

1981: The introduction of combined drug treatment (dapsone, rifampicin, chlofazimine) is another major breakthrough in the treatment of leprosy.

Here read the "History of epidemics" "The rumbling of the intestinal pox can be heard far and wide" chapter. Author: Prof. Dr. Péter Felkai. Reproduced with the permission of Medicina Publishers. Thank you to the Author and the Publisher for their kind permission to publish.

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Frequently asked questions

Infectious? Would we catch leprosy if we were among the sick? Is it hereditary? A fatal disease? How long does it take to develop? Can leprosy be prevented? Find the answers in this article.


Leprosy today

Unfortunately, millions of people in Asia, Africa and South America still suffer from leprosy today! 80% of the world's leprosy patients live in India.


Curing leprosy

Yes, leprosy is now curable! The cure for leprosy has been greatly accelerated. Within 24 hours of starting to take the medicine, the infection in the body stops. The good news of a cure is very hard to spread.