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Article
February 1938

COMMUNICABILITY OF LEPROSY AND APPLICATION OF CONTROL MEASURES

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1938;37(2):169-174. doi:10.1001/archderm.1938.01480080002001
Abstract

It is interesting to observe the trend of opinion on the communicability of leprosy. The accounts of leprosy in the Bible leave one in no doubt that the ancient Jews believed that the disease was conveyed from person to person. The Biblical texts illustrate that this transmission ordinarily was considered as by natural means, but supernatural transfer is clearly indicated in the story of Naaman, whose leprosy was communicated to Gehazi through the curse pronounced by Elisha as a just punishment for avarice.1 Nor do the drastic measures of isolation aimed at lepers during the middle ages leave any doubt as to how the people of that day felt on the subject of communicability. Then came a period in which communicability was thought to be a matter of little or no importance. Not long after the middle of the last century a distinguished medical body in England pronounced against

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