HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Health » Health (Group) » A Medieval Disease Could ...

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 03:04 PM

A Medieval Disease Could Resurface in America

A New York City doctor and professor of medicine, writing on the political website The Hill, has warned that a once-dreaded medieval disease -- leprosy -- might soon start affecting America’s homeless population.

Also known as Hansen’s disease, leprosy was a common affliction in Europe in the Middle Ages. A chronic bacterial infection causing lesions that damage the skin, nerves, eyes, and limbs, it was once believed (incorrectly) to be highly contagious. Sufferers were isolated and ostracized -- so much so that “leper” became a metaphorical term for somebody shunned for moral or social reasons.

In a just-published article called “Is a Dark Ages disease the new American plague threat?,” Dr. Marc K. Siegel, professor of medicine at New York University School of Medicine, notes that “The poor are disproportionately affected by this disease” due to “close quarters, poor sanitation, and lack of prompt diagnosis or treatment.”

An early 20th-century chemist, Alice Ball, invented the first injectable treatment for Hansen’s disease, used for more than 20 years, until antibiotic therapy replaced it. It has not been a pressing health concern in the U.S. since, unlike these serious public health issues.

More than 200,000 new cases of leprosy are reported each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Two-thirds of those are in India, while more than 20,000 of the rest are found in Central and South America.

Thus far, only between 100 and 200 new cases are discovered in the U.S. annually -- but, writes Siegel, “t seems only a matter of time before leprosy could take hold among the homeless population in an area such as Los Angeles County, with close to 60,000 homeless people and 75 percent of those lacking even temporary shelter or adequate hygiene and medical treatment.”

The National Organization for Rare Disorders stresses that “Leprosy is a treatable and curable disease…[and] patients on treatment are not infectious and do not spread the disease.” Unfortunately, that isn’t true of all diseases. These are the infections that even doctors are afraid of.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/health-news/a-medieval-disease-could-resurface-in-america/ar-AAH58Xp?li=BBnbfcL&ocid=mailsignout

4 replies, 1192 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
Reply A Medieval Disease Could Resurface in America (Original post)
mfcorey1 Sep 10 OP
Newest Reality Sep 10 #1
virgogal Sep 10 #2
Sneederbunk Sep 10 #3
Post removed Oct 30 #4

Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 03:13 PM

1. I don't know how

many people think about it, but nobody lives in a hermetically-sealed reality on this planet. It might seem so, but the fact that the interdependence of everything and the results of ignoring it is starting to rear its head and stare us all in the face.

Homelessness is rapidly increasing and includes many seniors, like myself, and there are many factors in that that present problems for the rest of the population, like this article shows. When you have growing and active disease vectors, you increase the probabilities of epidemics and even mutations. Who is immune to the effects of that?

So, even if people who are homed and doing well in this economy don't care about the circumstances, affordable housing shortages and lack of services for those without, in a wealthy country with the resources, ignoring it won't make it go away and it very well could become a major threat to public health in general. That should raise more concerns and I don't think genocide is on the table in order to solve that.

Don't send for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 03:13 PM

2. Calling it a medieval disease is a bit of a stretch---it was around a lot longer than that.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to virgogal (Reply #2)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 03:21 PM

3. Yes, it is in the Bible.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Reply to this thread