Leprosy Symptoms

by Rachel on March 25, 2015

Leprosy was recognized in the ancient civilizations of China, Egypt and India. The first known written mention of leprosy is dated 600 BC. The word leper comes from a Greek word meaning scaly. In India, leprosy is known since ancient times as kustha roga and attributed to punishment or curse from God.

Symptoms of Leprosy:

Symptoms include reddened or dry patches of skin. The initial sign of leprosy is usually spots on the skin that may be slightly redder, darker, or lighter than the person’s normal skin color and these spots are completely insensitive to touch and heat. Gradually this skin infection can lead to areas of swelling and lumps, which can lead to severe disfiguring if they appear on the face.

Here at the Pacific Leprosy Foundation, it is our mission to ensure that knowledge and awareness about leprosy is not lost. In our neighbouring Pacific Islands, it is essential that all health workers receive regular training about the diagnosis and treatment of leprosy.

The disease leprosy has made the headlines this week due to the elevation of sainthood to Jozef De Veuster, also known as Father Damien, who worked with leprosy victims on the Hawaiian island of Molokai from 1873 till his death from leprosy in 1889.

Is there any known cure for this disease? How does one find relief? Cheer up dear reader. There is a cure, but the cure can only be found in God’s written word, the Holy Bible. Leviticus chapter 14, gives specific treatment for this disease.

They are given knowledge about the disease – that it is contagious, and that they caught it through no fault of their own; that they can be cured of the disease; but their emotions, conditioned by the attitudes of a lifetime, tell them otherwise and they feel shame.

Leprosy got its formal name from a Norwegian physician who first identified the infecting organism in the 19th century. The disease is believed to be acquired during childhood by prolonged contact with the bacteria. This enters the body through a break in the skin or through the nose or throat.

Leprosy is a disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae, a bacterium related to the species that causes tuberculosis. In medical terms, leprosy is described as a granulomatous disease of the peripheral nerves and mucosa of the upper respiratory tract. Skin lesions are the main visible symptoms.

Sleeping sickness is spread by the tsetse fly which passes a parasite that lives in the blood and the brain. There is no vaccine and people should take extra precautions against insect bites when visiting African game parks. This disease and its carrier have made vast areas of Africa uninhabitable.

Remedial uses: It is very useful in hypopigmented lesions of the skin like leucoderma and psoriasis as it contains psoralen, which causes the skin to produce new pigment when exposed to sunlight. It is used both as a local application and orally. Also useful externally in scabies, dermatitis and leprosy and is also useful in painful urination.

Oil in the Old Testament appears fundamentally as a source of strength, vitality and life. To possess an oil was evidence of wealth and a mark of the nation’s prosperity. Anointing someone with oil paid the person great honor. So it was spoken of as bringing joy and gladness to festive occasions.

Think of the pain – isolation – ostracism – lumps – twisted distorted limbs – lack of physical feelings. He fell at Jesus feet – how undignified! For years he would have been begging – having to cry out “Unclean” everywhere he went.

Chaulmoogra oil also had a reputation in Asia for working on wounds, ulcers, early stages of tuberculosis, and rheumatism and other causes of pain. In 1853 a physician in the British Indian Medical Service came upon Hindu and Chinese writings that discussed this treatment.

The land is that which once belonged to the Canaanites: descendants of Ham, youngest son of Noah, long ago cursed to be the servants of servants; practitioners of impure rites and public prostitution; followers of Baal-Peor and Ashtaroth (gods so-called); and worshippers of idolatry, their gods made of stone that cannot speak and wood that cannot hear.

Leprosy is compared to Hansen’s disease today. Leprosy is a bacteria disease that eats away the flesh, and often times fingers and toes or limbs may be lost due to the infections. During this time of history, anyone with this disease was sent off to a leper’s colony away from society, away from people.

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