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Leprosy: evolution aspects of its diagnosis, treatment and control

This article describes, historically, evolution aspects of Leprosy diagnosis, treatment and control from antiquity (300 years b.C. until the 18th century). It ranges from its appearance in Europe to its institutionalization, depicting the scenery in which the disease occured, the dissemination conditions, the difficulties and attempts to treat and control it, the involvement and interference of Christianism, the concern on the side of health professionals vis-à-vis the few positive results regarding its healing (from the applying of mud, blood and herb patches to the extraction of nodules and bleeding, culminating with the isolation of the ill in leprosaries). Furthermore, the article highlights the decrease in the number of cases as a response to isolation in this way promoting the reduction of the illness in Brazil, arousing the attention of authorities and medical professionals as well as enforcing control policies, estipulated by Oswaldo Cruz, by the government representatives.

Leprosy; History; Control measures

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