It may seem like a disease from the past, an illness that's only limited to passages from the Bible, but even today thousands still suffer from leprosy.
Sunday January 25th marks World Leprosy Day. It's a way to raise awareness about the disease- from causes to prevention.
The slow growing bacteria damages nerves, limbs, the skin and even the eyes.
The good news is, huge improvements have been made. The latest data shows that worldwide, roughly 200,000 new leprosy cases were reported in 2013. The rate of curing the disease, has been quite impressive. In the last 20 years, 16 million people were cured from this limb weakening disease.
In Africa the countries with the highest cases of leprosy are Angola, the Central African Republic and Tanzania. In Latin America, there's Brazil. In Asia: Nepal and India. In fact, India accounts for roughly half of the world's cases.
World Leprosy Day is annually observed around the world on the last Sunday of January. It was initiated by Frenchman Raoul Follereau, back in 1954.