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Chapter 14

Chapter 14 Leprosy.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Health Studies

Aqdas QasemPlagues and PeoplesLeprosy Text Chpt14 CR 19 1123 834839 20101024TextbookChapter 14 Leprosy the Striking Hand of God 303Leprosy in ChristianityLiterature 303To readers of Old Testament leprosy was an abomination In the story Job was once considered the patron of the lepers was struck by the hand of God which was assumed to be leprosy because of the black spots on his bodyThe mention of leprosy in the bible has contributed to the fear of the sores associated with leprosy and the notion that what is blemished is unclean and displeasing to God Massive literature on the imagery of leprosy as a disease of the soul and one that was highly contagiousA Look Back 304 Leprosy arose in the Far East about 1400 BC as described in Hindu Indian and Chinese writing First accounts of leprosy between 600 and 400 BC in Indian text Claimed that leprosy brought from Indian to Greece in fourth century BC by soldiers Alexander the Great but possibly brought from East to West alone trade routes arriving in Mediterranean about the time of ChristConstantine suffered from leprosy and was told that bathing in the blood of sacrificed children would cure him but it did not Sarath was used to describe many skin conditions and can be translated as defiled accursed or scaly The word was eventually translated to lepra and then leprosy in English The association of the disease with sinfulness stigmatized the leper they were viewed as suspicious and having a burning desire for lustful sexDisease aka satyriasis an insatiable sexual appetite Also confusion between syphilis and leprosy Lepers were segregated from societytold not to mix with crows to use own container in drawing water not to touch anything they didnt pay for wear a distinctive garment an announce their presence with a bell or clappers ritual burialDepending on the king of the time they were strapped to posts and buried alive or buried to deathSome Christians sympathized with them and created almhouses or refuges for them which were known as Lazar Houses or Lazarets or Lazarettos thththth 12 century it became a pandemic 13 and 14 century reached its peak because 19000 lazarets existed 16 century thmost lazarets closed and 18 century they were all gone Dying down of leprosy may be due to outbreak of TB or increased supply of woollen textiles for clothing Pandemic of leprosy became an epidemic in Hawaii Molokai in Hawaii is where a colony of 142 lepers formed Father Damien a priest came to help a colony of lepers for 3 months but stayed for 16 years he cleaned and bandaged sores built homes a hospital and buried leprosy victims He did not avoid contact with the lepers of Molokai and as a His death reiterated the idea that leprosy is very contagiousresult died of leprosy He was named the Martyr of MolokaiIn the US leprosy was stigmatized as a disease of the Chinese 1917 first leprosarium opened in the US which was more a prison than a hospital The patients were not allowed to marry They were denied basic freedoms to most Americans cannot use public transport fly over certain states use public washrooms live freely in society They were set free in 1997 The Disease of Leprosy 309Leprosy bacillusMycobacterium lepraediscovered by Gerhard Armauer Hansen therefore known as Hansens disease Acidfast bacillus cannot be grown in tissue culture and grows very slowly and only in humans mice and ninebanded armadillos found in 10 of armadillos in Louisiana No known vectors or reservoir hostsDisease is low infectivity and a spectral diseaseone showing different manifestations tuberculoid leprosy localized in skin nodules where bacteria are abundant and disseminated or lepromatous leprosy with bacteria in macrophages white blood cell within tissues and skinPage 1
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