Leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease, is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae. It’s a condition that can have a devastating effect on those who catch it, affecting the skin, the eyes, the peripheral nerves and the respiratory tract in people of all ages.
It’s also a disease with a lot of stigma and myths attached to it, many of them dating back to the Middle Ages. The image of the medieval leper as an outcast from society is a familiar one—but is it accurate? To find out more Cat chats with Dr Simon Roffey, a Reader in Medieval Archaeology at the University of Winchester.
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