What is leprosy?

   Leprosy is a chronic, infectious disease affecting the skin and producing certain changes in the nerves. While said to be passed from one person to another, the danger is relatively slight. The disease first came to man's notice because of the victims's coarse, thickened skin and some deformities.
   The immediate cause is a rod-shaped germ called Bacillus leprae, discovered by Hansen in 1874.    Hence, the disease is called Hansen's disease. There are two types of leprosy found in the southern part of the United States. In one type, nodules, which later break down into ulcers, form on the skin. In the other, the nerves of the extremities become thickened and painful.
   The ancients called leprosy an "unclean" disease. This is not necessarily so, but certainly scrupulous cleanliness and sanitation are necessary. The common housefly has been blamed for carrying the disease, but this is not yet proven.