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Mankind's 13 Deadliest Diseases

Adam Starr | AllHealthcare

7. Leprosy

Leprosy is a Greek word that means, “scales on a fish,” an obvious description for anyone who has seen pictures of a leprosy victim’s misshapen body. The chronic disease is caused by the Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis. The disease attacks the upper respiratory track and the mucous membranes and causes external skin lesions.

An ancient sickness, leprosy has plagued peoples from Egypt to China, and, because of the crippling physical signs of the disease, has often left people outcast and quarantined in lonely leper colonies. Today, with modern treatment, there have only been several thousand deaths from leprosy, mostly in Asia, South East Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean.

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