Leprosy is the oldest disease on record, dating back to the year 4200 B. C., when it was endemic in Egypt; and to this day the traveler in walking the streets of the smaller towns of that country is liable to be startled by the hoarse croaking of the blear-eyed, plague-stricken victim of the barns, as this malady is commonly called in the East. From Egypt the Jews brought the disease with them into Palestine, where Moses found it necessary to frame stringent laws relative to its diagnosis and prevention.
It is probable that under the generic term leprosy, the Law-giver described, besides the affection which we now know by that name, a number of other cutaneous diseases, notably leucoderma, the Aleppo evil, erysipelas and ringworm. Perhaps certain inflammations of the skin due to animal parasites, such as pediculosis and scabies, were also included under this title. The main object
BLANC HW. THE LEPROSY QUESTION.Lecture delivered at the University of the South, November, 1891.. JAMA. 1892;XVIII(17):507-510. doi:10.1001/jama.1892.02411210001001