Leprosy

By Samuel Nicklaus

What Is Leprosy?

Leprosy is a disease that affects your skin. it can cause lumps, muscle weakness and has multiple forms, lepromatous and Tuberculoid. It is an air born disease meaning it you can get it by just breathing! Children are more likely to get the disease but adults can still get it and Over 2 Million people are affected by Leprosy today.

Symptoms

The symptoms for Leprosy are: spots (faded skin), growths on skin, pain where the growths are, stuffy nose, muscle weakness,and nerve damage in arms and legs are all symptoms that are on both types of Leprosy. Leprosy can take up to 10 Years before symptoms develop! That means you can have Leprosy and not even know it! Lepromatous is the more extreme version of Leprosy as Tuberculoid is the more mild disease. Symptoms vary from person to person and also depends on the form the disease comes in.
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History Of Leprosy

Leprosy is one of the oldest diseases in the world. The bacteria that causes Leprosy was first found in 1873. Originally there were four different types of Leprosy until 1982 the WHO (World Health Organization) put them into two different categories. It spread so fast around the world because Europeans and West African Slaves spread the disease to America. Also between the 11th and 13th centuries CE Leprosy was spread through trade routes in Europe. Often Leprosy was the living death because some people believed it was a punishment for their sins. In churches laws required people that had Leprosy to sit in separate seats and drink from separate holy water cups. From 1200 CE and 1300 CE in Europe cases of Leprosy began to decline for unknown reasons. Some people think the cause of the decline of the disease is that around that time there were about 19,000 hospitals to treat Leprosy. In the past 20 years over 16 million people were cured of Leprosy.

Risk Of Exposure

Even though the chances of you getting leprosy are very slim and 95% of us are immune to the Leprosy bacteria, over 2 million people are affected by leprosy. Some armadillos in the Southern United States have leprosy and it takes a lot of exposure to an armadillo to get the disease. A few popular countries that have the disease are Brazil, India, Madagascar, and Central African Republic. India is the leading country for most Leprosy cases. Leprosy is caused by the spread of bacteria and in the air only. It spread person to person by coughing or sneezing. You can even get the disease by just breathing! Children are more likely to get the disease than adults but its still very unlikely to get the disease.

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Treatment

There is still no fast treatment for Leprosy, but it can be treated from as little as 6 months to as long as 2 years with a combination of antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. In India they give out Medication for free if you have Leprosy. You can avoid Leprosy by avoiding people that have the disease and Wild Armadillos. If you are experiencing any symptoms related to Leprosy or came in contact with an Armadillo make sure to tell your doctor because the sooner you tell him, the faster you can be cured and the less permanent the nerve damage will be.

Bibliography

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