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« An Honor Just To Be Nominated. | WILLisms.com | Quotational Therapy: Part 64 -- Milton Friedman, On Free Lunch. »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 235 -- Leprosy.

Leper Colonies-

As some of you may know, my beautiful wife lives and works in Angola three weeks on, three weeks off. She's safe there, but I still worry about her. A lion could eat her. She could end up fighting on the wrong side of a spontaneous and bloody civil war, then be captured, then tried in The Hague for war crimes. Or she could get leprosy.

Yes, leprosy.

Did you know that leprosy still exists? And leper colonies?

It does. And they do. In Angola, even.

But there is good news:

...since the introduction of multidrug therapy a generation ago, a complete cure became possible within six to 12 months. As a consequence, the number of those with leprosy has plummeted from 10 million globally in 1985 to slightly more than 400,000 last year. Early detection and drug treatment, which since the year 2000 has been donated by the pharmaceutical company Novartis AG, have allowed many to reintegrate into society with no telltale marks.

In five years, say leprosy specialists, the number of new cases treated globally may be reduced to 50,000 annually.

Hey, honey! Stay away from Funda, 30 miles East of Luanda!

Actually, the likelihood of contracting leprosy is amazingly slim:

The leprosy bacilli pass mainly through nasal mucus, not through skin contact, and infection of another person usually occurs only after prolonged close contact.


The Boston Globe: "In Angola, leprosy colony inches toward society"


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Wal-Mart.

Posted by Will Franklin · 4 December 2005 09:19 PM


So, I guess you could say that leprosy rates are... falling off.

Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week.

Posted by: Gaijin Biker at December 4, 2005 10:20 PM

Actually, that joke is rim shot worthy. "Ba-dum-ching."

And this is a good reason why I could never be a doctor: my neck nerves start tightening up just reading words like "leprosy." I have labored swallowing. My breathing becomes conscious (as in, I start sort of holding my breath, rather than just breathing automatically, so I have to force myself to inhale and exhale for a few seconds). It's irrational, I know, but whatever. Contagious diseases just sort of freak me out.

Posted by: Will Franklin at December 4, 2005 10:26 PM

You know how caring and sweet she is?...I hope she doesn't feel compelled to visit a leper colony...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at December 5, 2005 07:27 AM

Leprosy looks like a good candidate for eradication. We got rid of smallpox with a strong worldwide campaign.

I'm no expert. But if the disease spreads through close human contact and does not have a reservoir in nature then go after it.

Posted by: K at December 5, 2005 10:46 AM