Lepra

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Lepra lē"prȧ (Med) Leprosy.☞ The term lepra was formerly given to various skin diseases, the leprosy of modern authors being Lepra Arabum. See Leprosy.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n lepra In pathology, a chronic and almost uniformly incurable disease, caused by a well-determined bacillus, Bacillus lepræ. It is characterized anatomically by the formation of nodules and diffuse masses of leprous tissue, distributed especially to the skin and along the nerves, but occurring elsewhere. Lepra begins slowly and haltingly with the ordinary signs of feeble health, and develops into one or the other of the two recognized types of the disease, or into a mixed form. In one type, lepra cutanea or lepra tuberculosa, the skin and mucous membranes are the principal places of deposit of leprous tissue, and there is formation of nodules, indolent ulcers, and cicatrices. The other form, lepra nervorum or lepra anæsthetica, in which the nerves are principally affected, is characterized by pains and anæsthesia in various nerve-regions (the motor paralysis being remarkably scanty), and by various dystrophies consequent upon the nervous lesions, bullous eruptions, spots of pigmentary surplus or deficit, glossy skin, muscular atrophy, and the loss of fingers and toes. Patients with lepra nervorum seem to live longer than those with lepra cutanea. Lepra is unknown among brutes. It is communicated from man to man, but seems usually to require extreme intimacy of association. Lepra has been prevalent in almost all countries of the world. At present it is frequent in many parts of Asia and Africa, and in some of the islands of the Pacific and Indian oceans. In Europe it occurs in Scandinavia, in Finland, in Iceland, and there is some in Spain. It prevails in many parts of South America, Central America, and Mexico, and in a number of the West Indian islands. In America north of Mexico there are some points of prevalence in the southern part of the United States, some among the Chinese of the western coast, and some among the Scandinavian immigrants of the northwest. There are also some infected localities in New Brunswick, in Cape Breton, and in Greenland. Lepra cutanea is also called lepra Arabum, elephantiasis or elephantiasis Græcorum, and leprosy. Lepra nervorum is also called lepra nervosa, lepra mutilans, dry leprosy, jointevil, and non-tuberculated lepra.
    • n lepra One of a class of scaly skin-affections, mostly psoriasis; lepra Græcorum.
    • n lepra In botany, a scurfy or mealy matter on the surface of some plants.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Lepra leprosy: a scurfy, mealy substance on the surface of some plants
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. See Leper
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
See Leper.

Usage

In literature:

They use elm bark for cutaneous eruptions, herpes, and lepra.
"The Leper in England: with some account of English lazar-houses" by Robert Charles Hope
A kind of oil is produced from the seed of ripe fruits, and this oil is said to cure lepra, eczema and some other obstinate skin diseases.
"New, Old, and Forgotten Remedies: Papers by Many Writers" by Various
Leprosy is caused by the lepra bacillus, discovered by Hansen in 1871.
"Essays In Pastoral Medicine" by Austin ÓMalley
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