Tagged With leprosy

Leprosy is one of the oldest known diseases to afflict humans, yet its origin is mired in controversy. A new study, in which 10 strains of the disease were detected in the remains of medieval Europeans, is now complicating the picture even further by pointing to western Europe as a potential launching point for leprosy. What's more, the evidence also points to squirrels as a major contributing factor in the spread of the dreaded disease.

British red squirrels are being afflicted by a medieval strain of leprosy that was thought to have disappeared from Europe over 700 years ago, according to a new DNA analysis. Researchers say the chances of the dreaded disease spreading to humans is low, but the discovery suggests this strain of leprosy has been lingering for quite some time.