14 May 2018 · Smithsonian Magazine

Did Leprosy Originate in Europe?

A new study suggests the disease was far more diverse in Europe than previously believed

Leprosy is one of the oldest and most notorious diseases of human history. Symptoms consistent with the leprosy are described in ancient records from India, China and Greece. Signs of the disease may even be present in a 4,000-year-old skeleton. But much about the affliction remains mysterious to modern-day researchers, who aren’t sure where leprosy came from or how it spread.

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