Origin of leprosy
OTHER WORDS FROM leprosylep·rot·ic [le-prot-ik], /lɛˈprɒt ɪk/, adjectivean·ti·lep·ro·sy, adjective
Words nearby leprosy
ABOUT THIS WORD
What is leprosy?
Leprosy is an infectious disease that causes bumps and wounds on and under the skin that gradually spread and can cause muscle weakness, nerve damage, and paralysis. If not treated effectively, it can result in the loss of body parts and eventually death.
Leprosy is also called Hansen’s disease, which is the name preferred by many medical professionals. It’s caused by a kind of bacteria called Mycobacterium leprae. It can be cured with a treatment of antibiotics and other drugs.
Cases of leprosy have been documented since ancient times. Due to its severe effects and contagiousness, many people who have had the disease throughout history have been stigmatized and treated as outcasts.
Historically, the word leper has been used to refer to a person with leprosy. Due to the stigma, it came to be used in a more figurative way to mean an outcast or someone who is excluded, especially for behavior or opinions considered unacceptable, as in Ever since I expressed my opinion, I’ve been treated like a leper around here. However, both the figurative and literal senses of the word can be considered insensitive due to the fact that they can dehumanize those who have the disease. It is typically recommended to use a phrase like “a person with Hansen’s disease” when referring to someone with the disease.
Where does the word leprosy come from?
The word leprosy comes from the Greek word for the disease, léprōs(is). This is derived from the Greek word leprós, “scaly,” which is related to lépein, “to peel.” The first records of the use of the word leprosy in English come from around the 1500s. But descriptions of a disease thought to be leprosy date back much further—it’s even mentioned in the Bible.
Some early uses of the word leprosy were more general, referring to any disease involving scaly or discolored patches of skin. Today, though, leprosy specifically refers to a disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae. Although this bacterium can be killed with antibiotics, the skin and nerve damage that the disease can cause can be permanent, so early diagnosis is key.
Advances in the treatment of leprosy only came about in the early 1900s, due to contributions by African American chemist Alice Ball and others. In 2000, the World Health Organization declared that leprosy is no longer a public health problem on a global scale, meaning that cases of it have dropped to a low level, but hundreds of thousands of people are still diagnosed with it each year.
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to leprosy?
What are some synonyms for leprosy?
What are some words that share a root or word element with leprosy?
What are some words that often get used in discussing leprosy?
How is leprosy used in real life?
Leprosy is typically used in a medical context, but it has a history of stigmatization, so the name Hansen’s disease is often preferred.
Many people think leprosy is a thing of the past.
It's not. But we can make it a thing of the past.
We believe that, with the right support, we can be the generation that rids the world of leprosy.
In 2035, no one will be diagnosed with leprosy. pic.twitter.com/FrfTMclJOA
— Leprosy Mission Int (@Leprosymissint) August 4, 2020
#HiddenNoMore Alice Ball, Pharmaceutical Chemist
Ball, a chemistry instructor at the College of Hawaii, improved a key treatment for leprosy (Hansen’s Disease). The "Ball Method" was used for decades. In 1916, a year after her discovery, Ball died. She was just 24 years old. pic.twitter.com/7ivP0Nembc
— Morehead Planetarium & Science Center (@moreheadplanet) August 5, 2020
How to use leprosy in a sentence
Pauling went on to claim that high doses of the supplement could cure everything from heart disease to leprosy, and even cancer.How a Nobel Prize winner spread the vitamin C myth|empire|June 26, 2021|Popular-Science
A disease known for millennia, leprosy had been common in Europe in the Middle Ages.
After a “miracle” sulfone antibiotic cure was introduced to the leprosy settlement in 1946, people were no longer contagious.
Upon attaining a series of negative bacteriological tests, inmates were allowed temporary medical release and could travel, live and seek employment outside the leprosy settlement in the 1950s.
Similarly, diseases such as tuberculosis, leprosy Advertisement and measles have been with us for several millennia.How Do Pandemics End? History Suggests Diseases Fade But Are Almost Never Truly Gone|LGBTQ-Editor|October 22, 2020|No Straight News
British Dictionary definitions for leprosy
Word Origin for leprosy
Medical definitions for leprosy
Other words from leprosylep′rous (lĕp′rəs) null adj.
Scientific definitions for leprosy
Cultural definitions for leprosy
A chronic and infectious disease, characterized by patches of altered skin and nerve tissue (lesions) that gradually spread to cause muscle weakness, deformities, and paralysis. Some forms of antibiotics are now used to treat this disease, and plastic surgery can help correct the deformities it causes. Also called Hansen's disease.