May 18, 2012


Contrary to popular belief, leprosy does not cause rotting flesh or the loss of limbs. It is actually a disease (now called Hansen’s disease, named after Gerhard Hansen a Norwegian physician who discovered the leprosy bacteria that damages nerve endings and effects the skin. Because of the numbness caused by leprosy, a sufferer can be unaware of harming himself accidentally. It is this accidental harm that can lead to infections and, consequently, the loss of limbs.

Leprosy has been treatable since the 1930s, but to this day there remain leper colonies in some nations such as India, Japan, and China.

Armadillos also carry leprosy and can transmit it to humans. Ninety five percent of humans are naturally immune to the disease, and the remaining five percent can be easily and successfully cured of it.