history of leprosy
I have attached the assignment information + citation details below. Please use atleast 10 scholarly sources
Here are my main points:
The understanding of leprosy in the middle ages was such that the disease itself would not be separated from the patient. When leprosy is identified, the patient would now be considered a leper, to be cast away from society, whose children would be considered lepers, and their individual peculiarities would often be considered as symptoms of leprosy. This lack of separation between what would eventually be known as a bacterial infection and the individual who has it, would ultimately shape the methods used to treat it. It is important to note that various medical treatments and approaches would be used depending on the region or country you were in, however, the common point of understanding for medieval and pre modern doctors was that leprosy was hereditary, contagious, and incurable.
Point one: upon being diagnosed with leprosy, one would be cast away from society because leprosy was thought to be contagious.
Point two: leprosy was seen as hereditary
Point three: It would not be until 1873 that mycobacterium leprae would be discovered. Hence, identifying leprosy in the pre modern period would occur not as the result of identifying the presence of Mycobacterium leprae. But as a result of inspecting various identifiable symptoms. These symptoms often resembled a host of other skin infections, or just random peculiarities of people who had leprosy. For example, Faith Wallis recounts Gilbert the Englishmans account of the symptoms of leprosy. Whereby Gilbert states that “Lepers search for sexual pleasure more than usual and more than they should” (Wallis, 341). He also speaks of various other symptoms that were common to other problems such as hair loss and lucidity of the skin. However, he maintained that such symptoms were a result of humoral imbalance causing leprosy (Wallis, 342).