Europe brought leprosy, a disfiguring contagious disease caused by the bacillus Mycobacterium leprae, under control in the 14th century. People suffering from leprosy were confined in leper houses, known as lazarettos, run by the monasteries of St. Lazarus. King Philip the Fair of France burned all lepers alive in France in 1313. An estimated 19,000 hospices were founded throughout western Europe. The isolation of lepers succeeded in eradicating the disease in France by 1656, and the lazarettos were closed. In other countries the lazarettos were converted to buildings to confine plague victims, mentally ill, and syphilitic people.
14th Century, 1313, 1656
King Philip the Fair
- History of Leprosy
1873: Dr. Gerhard Henrik Armauer Hansen of Norway was the first person to identify the germ that causes leprosy under a microscope. Hansen’s discovery of Mycobacterium leprae proved that leprosy was caused by a germ, and was thus not hereditary, from a curse, or from a sin.
- History of leprosy – Wikipedia
In 1873 G. H. Armauer Hansen in Norway discovered the causative agent of leprosy, Mycobacterium leprae. This was the first bacterium to be identified as causing disease in humans. From the 19th century, European nations adopted some practices of India and China, administering naturally occurring oils.
- Leprosy – History | Britannica
In 1200 ce an estimated 19,000 leprosy hospitals existed all over Europe. The disease is much older than that, however, and it is believed to have originated on …
- International Leprosy Association – History of Leprosy
Leprosy has been present since earliest times. People have not only suffered from leprosy, but they have also suffered because of the disease. These pages …
- Leprosy Symptoms, Treatments, History, and Causes – WebMD
Apr 23, 2019 – Learn more from WebMD about leprosy, a debilitating – and often misunderstood – infectious disease.