Leprosy also known as Hansen’s Disease, is such an old disease that it’s mentioned in various parts of the Bible. Leprosy is a disease that disfigures certain areas of the body. It, unlike many other forms of disease, chooses to attack the cooler areas of the body. The eyes, nose, hands, feet and even the testicles are most often attacked by the disease. It was so disfiguring in times past that there were leper colonies where those with this disease were sent off to in order to spend the rest of their lives. If you thought that leprosy no longer existed, you would be grossly mislead in your thinking. Leprosy still exists, though the cases aren’t as widely spread as they once were. It is actually a rare disease in place like the United States, but it can still happen.
According to Medicine.Net, leprosy can take years to show the signs. It is possible to take up to forty years before a person even knows that he/she is carrying the disease. This means that more infections can occur because if you don’t know you have it, there is no way to avoid giving it to someone else. It is usually contracted from human to human contact, though some animals have it as well, they normally don’t pass it to humans. The word leprosy comes with a stigma that isn’t easily overcome. It is now often called Hansen’s disease in order to help the patient avoid the possible consequences that society might hold over the person with the disease.
There are treatments for leprosy. It starts with antibiotics which generally works very well in cases that aren’t too far advanced. This is the hopeful situation. If it is an advanced case, surgery may be required to finalize the treatments. The surgery is only for cosmetic purposes and to give back some of the use that was lost due to the leprosy. The reason that leprosy isn’t as wide spread as other infectious diseases is that it doesn’t have a high contagious factor. It is contagious, just not as contagious as other diseases. There is only one real way to avoid the chance of getting leprosy though. If you know that someone has leprosy, you should avoid sharing things such as drinks or coming into contact with any human fluids with someone who has leprosy.
The biggest problem is that even the person with leprosy doesn’t always know the problem exists until many years after it has already been in his or her system. That means that you have to really be careful with everyone you come into contact with. Make a habit out of not eating or drinking after other people. Keep as clean as possible by washing your hands. If you come into contact with any human secretion, including spit, wash it off immediately. You can never be too careful because there are far too many infectious diseases that you can get if you aren’t careful. Leprosy is one of the smaller problems. It may not be widespread, but it is a horrible disease and it is alive and well in the world, including places like the United States. No matter what the infectious disease, you are at risk and you have to do everything humanly possible to keep from getting it yourself. You can do that by doing the things you were taught as a child about not sharing certain things and about keeping clean.