Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

Top Surnames

view all


  • Kappa Sigma Chi, Purdue University Lafayette Campus
    Arthur Graydon Moody (1871 - 1931)
    Biography== Arthur Graydon Moody was born on February 28, 1871, in Indianapolis, Marion, Indiana, USA. His parents were Lorenzo Dow Moody and Mary Ada Moody (Nixon) . Not married. Graduate of Purdue Un...
  • Peter Schüler (1879 - 1955)
    Reference: MyHeritage Family Trees - SmartCopy : Dec 27 2017, 2:18:56 UTC * Reference: MyHeritage Family Trees - SmartCopy : Jun 2 2018, 4:21:45 UTC

People With Leprosy

This project is for ALL people WITH Leprosy.

(Since Leprosy is incurable, ALL with it, will have Leprosy as a Primary or a Secondary diagnosis.)

Please be sure to include in the About section any complication that may have resulted as a result of having leprosy.

Also known as: Hansen's disease (HD)

Leprosy is a chronic infection caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis. It is a contagious disease that affects the skin, mucous membranes, and nerves, causing discoloration and lumps on the skin and, in severe cases, disfigurement and deformities. . Leprosy is curable. Although not highly infectious, it is transmitted via droplets, from the nose and mouth, during close and frequent contacts with untreated cases.

The disease was linked to long-term agony, stigmatization and death. Leprosy can develop at any age but appears to develop most often in people aged 5 to 15 years or over 30. Initially, infections are without symptoms and then the disease develops slowly (from six months to 40 years!) and results in skin lesions and deformities, most often affecting the cooler places on the body (for example, eyes, nose, earlobes, hands, feet, and testicles). The skin lesions and deformities can be very disfiguring and are the reason that infected individuals historically were considered outcasts in many cultures.

Without treatment, leprosy can permanently damage the skin, nerves, arms, legs, feet, and eyes. Symptoms that develop include granulomas of the nerves, respiratory tract, skin, and eyes. This may result in a lack of ability to feel pain and thus loss of parts of extremities due to repeated injuries or infection due to unnoticed wounds. Weakness and poor eyesight may also be present.

Although human-to-human transmission is the primary source of infection, three other species can carry and (rarely) transfer M. leprae to humans: chimpanzees, mangabey monkeys, and nine-banded armadillos. The disease is termed a chronic granulomatous disease, similar to tuberculosis, because it produces inflammatory nodules (granulomas) in the skin and nerves over time.

Complications of leprosy can include:

  • Blindness or glaucoma.
  • Disfiguration of the face (including permanent swelling, bumps, and lumps).
  • Erectile dysfunction and infertility in men.
  • Kidney failure.
  • Muscle weakness that leads to claw-like hands or an inability to flex the feet.
  • Permanent damage to the inside of the nose, which can lead to nosebleeds and a chronic, stuffy nose.
  • Permanent damage to the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord, including those in the arms, legs, and feet.
  • Nerve damage can lead to a dangerous loss of feeling. A person with leprosy-related nerve damage may not feel pain when the hands, legs, or feet are cut, burned, or otherwise injured.

Mortality in leprosy

Mortality in leprosy is often not considered important since the disease is rarely an immediate cause of death. However, leprosy patients are exposed to increased mortality risks due to its indirect effects.

Leprosy Statistics:

  • Official figures from 103 countries from 5 WHO regions show the global registered prevalence of leprosy to be at 180,618 at the end of 2013; during the same year, 215,656 new cases were reported.
  • Leprosy is now mainly confined to tropical Africa and Asia.
    • Pockets of high endemicity still remain in some areas of many countries but a few are mentioned as reference: Angola, Bangladesh, Brazil, People’s Republic of China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan and the United Republic of Tanzania.
  • Leprosy death statistics by worldwide region:
    • About 1,000 deaths from leprosy in The Americas 2002 (The World Health Report, WHO, 2004)
    • About 3,000 deaths from leprosy in South East Asia 2002 (The World Health Report, WHO, 2004)
    • About 1,000 deaths from leprosy in Eastern Mediterranean 2002 (The World Health Report, WHO, 2004)
    • About 1,000 deaths from leprosy in Western Pacific 2002 (The World Health Report, WHO, 2004)

Notable cases

  • Saint Damien DeVeuster, (1840-1889) a Roman Catholic priest from Belgium, himself eventually contracting leprosy, ministered to lepers who had been placed under a government-sanctioned medical quarantine on the island of Molokaʻi in the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. . Father Damien
  • Baldwin IV Latin King of Jerusalem (1161-1185, reigned 1174-1185) was a Christian king of Latin Jerusalem, afflicted with leprosy. Baldwin, and the effects of his disease, were portrayed in the film Kingdom of Heaven. Baldwin IV of Jerusalem
  • Vietnamese poet Hàn Mặc Tử
  • Ōtani Yoshitsugu, a Japanese daimyo
  • Aleijadinho, ( 1738-1814) a Brazilian sculptor in the 1800s, had been disfigured by the disease for more than twenty years. Aleijadinho
  • Joseph (Jozef) de Veuster (Father Damien), a Roman Catholic missionary who helped lepers on the Hawaiian island of Molokai died of the disease.
  • Henry (VII) of Germany, King of Sicily and Germany and Duke of Swabia
  • Hallgrímur Pétursson, (1614-1674) one of Iceland's most famous poets and a priest, died from leprosy. Hallgrímur Pétursson (need to click on his name at the site it goes to, sorry)
  • Robert the Bruce of Scotland, was said to have leprosy and when his skull was unearthed it was missing the canine teeth – a likely skeletal sign of leprosy.

In literature and film

  • Stephen R. Donaldson's series of fantasy novels The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever features a protagonist with leprosy. The first book, Lord Foul's Bane, has a long digression in the first section about the disease, its treatment and the regimen Covenant must follow to survive. The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant,
  • Ridley Scott's film Kingdom of Heaven, accurately depicts Baldwin IV, king of the short-lived Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, as suffering and dying from leprosy. Kingdom of Heaven
  • Forough Farrokhzad made a 22-minute documentary about a leprosy colony in Iran in 1962 called The House Is Black. The film humanizes the people affected and opens by saying that "there is no shortage of ugliness in the world, but by closing our eyes on ugliness, we will intensify it." The House Is Black

jump back to Cause of death portal

this project is in HistoryLink