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A MONTHLY MAGAZINE
DEVOTED TO THE
PRESERVATION OF HEALTH, MENTAL
A. N. Bell, A.M., M.D., Editor,
T. P. COBBAL EX: A, M.D.D. } Associate Editors.
NEW YORK : A. N. BELL.
Entered according to Act of Congress, A. D. 1884, by A. N. BELL, in the office of the Librarian
of Congress, at Washington.
The consideration of this disease at the present time might seem to many as inappropriate as that of the Sweating Sickness or the Black Death of the Middle Ages; nevertheless, interest in it has been revived by its recent outbreak in the Sandwich Islands, its presence in California, Louisiana, Canada, and some of our Northwestern States, in which it might be possible to include Iowa; and this must be my excuse, if any is, indeed, needed, for addressing you for a few moments on this subject.
Leprosy is, without doubt, the oldest of all known diseases. Its existence, indeed, antedates all history. Its early mention in Holy Scriptures, its incorporation into Chinese law as the second of the five recognized causes of divorce, proves the great antiquity of its existence. In the Middle Ages it was the most prevalent of diseases. In 1226 there were two thousand leper hospitals in France alone, and nineteen thousand of them in Europe. They were in all parts of England and Scotland.
Leprosy has almost entirely disappeared from Europe-the last indigenous case in Scotland dying at the beginning of this century. It lingers, however, in some isolated spots, notably
Paper read before the Iowa State Medical Society by R. J. FARQUHARSON, M.D, Secretary of Iowa State Board of Health, at its annual meeting, held at Des Moines, May 21, 1884.