The City of God, Someplace Is Forgotten上帝之城里,被上帝遗忘的角落
World Leprosy Day is annually observed around the world on the last Sunday of January. The day was initiated in 1954 by French philanthropist and writer, Raoul Follereau, as a way to raise global awareness of this deadly ancient disease and call attention to the fact that it can be prevented, treated and cured.
Leprosy primarily affects the skin and the peripheral nerves. It may also strike the eyes and the thin tissue lining the inside of the nose. The main symptom is disfiguring skin sores, lumps, or bumps.
A leprosy patient takes a shower at Curupaiti hospital. The nerve damage inherent in the disease can lead to loss of feeling in the arms and legs and muscle weakness.
A leprosy patient in a wheelchair plays a mandolin at Curupaiti.
The hospital was built in 1929 and is really starting to show its age. Many of the residents have lived in the hospital since they were diagnosed with leprosy as children.
A leprosy sufferer washes his stump in one of the wet rooms at the hospital.
Today, about 180,000 people worldwide are infected with leprosy, according to the World Health Organization, most of them in Africa and Asia. About 100 people are diagnosed with leprosy in the U.S. every year, mostly in the South, California, Hawaii, and some U.S. territories.
Leprosy is a chronic bacterial disease of the skin and nerves in the hands and feet and, in some cases, the lining of the nose.
Who gets leprosy?
Anyone can get leprosy, but children seem to be more susceptible than adults.
How is leprosy spread?
It is not clear how the leprosy germ is spread, but household and prolonged close contact is important. The germs probably enter the body through the nose and possibly through broken skin. The germs get in the air through nasal discharge of untreated lepromatous patients.
The best way to prevent the spread of leprosy is the early diagnosis and treatment of people who are infected. For household contacts, immediate and annual examinations are recommended for at least five years after last contact with a person who is infectious.