Blog · Health · Lifestyle

Essay | Leprosy in the 12th and 21st century | What is Leprosy?

The following parts of my essay have my own copyright in formulation of words, opinions and otherwise sources are mentioned.

The past couple of weeks I have followed the History of Healthcare course as an elective course to broaden my knowledge.
We had to give a presentation about a free chosen subject. I chose to give a presentation about the ‘Antiquity and the Olympics | Medicine in the pre Hippocratic Era’.
And as a final product I chose to write an essay about ‘Leprosy in the 12th and 21st century’.

For these blog posts I will divide my essay into four parts: ‘Introduction‘, ‘What is Leprosy?’, ‘Leprosy in the 12th century’, ‘Leprosy in the 21st century and a conclusion part’.

See the links for the previous posts of this series.

Greetings by Sophie

What is leprosy?
The ‘Mycobacterium leprae’

Leprosy is an infection disease that is cause by a bacteria. This bacteria is called in its original Latin ‘Mycobacterium leprae’, a bacillus spirally. (Ryan & Ray, 2004, pp. 451 – 453). The bacteria itself  has several characteristics in microbiology. It is an aerobic bacillus and protected by a thick fat surrounding which is unique for mycobacteria. But nonetheless the bacteria is very active because it is intracellular, full of acid, intercellular and pathogenic. Pathogenic means that the bacillus is of biological origin and is not often called as a poison. But this rare combination of a biological bacillus that is also acid-fast is a very dangerous combination. This all together is called the bacillus that causes leprosy, the ‘Mycobacterium leprae’. (McMurray, 1996) The bacteria is contagious and is usually transmitted through coughing or sneezing. There are some taboos about the disease, but in history it was not known yet.

The two extremes

Leprosy is in an advanced stage very good visible. You would expect that with such an aggressive bacillus that is described here above. But it depends on with which kind of leprosy the person is dealing with. Nowadays leprosy is divided into two extremes of the disease. One section is the ‘Tuberculoid leprosy’, which thanks its name to tuberculosis that is a bit alike but not the same. And the other section is the ‘Lepromatous leprosy’, which is the most known and recognizable section of the disease. (Poli Dermatologie, Academisch Medisch Centrum, Amsterdam, 2012) The ‘Lepromatous leprosy’ is also the most aggressive version of the two divided sections. The symptoms that occur in this section are the more visible symptoms and bacillus multiplies quickly and also the amount of bacillus that is present in the infected person is enormous. Therefore, the lesion is also larger and evolves quicker. (Boelaert, 2014)

The symptoms and the visuals

The most common symptom is that leprosy causes chronical wounds on the skin that heals very slowly and is hard to come across. And another common symptom is that leprosy causes facial malformations, deformities of the limbs such as missing fingers, toes or even complete limbs. It also causes muscle atrophy which means that the muscles are less vigorous and articular deformities are also common and visible in the movements of the infected person. (Boelaert, 2014). Another symptom of the leprosy disease is that it can also cause paralysis to the limbs, commonly hands and feet or blindness to the eyes. This makes the infected person gets unwillingly disabilities and becomes a partly disabled person. (Lepra Stichting, 2017)

Bibliography
  • Boelaert, J. R. (2014). De medische renaissance van de twaalfde eeuw. In J. R. Boelaert, De medischerenaissance van de twaalfde eeuw (pp. 78 – 88). Antwerpen – Apeldoorn: Garant Uitgeversnv.
  • Lepra Stichting. (2017, January). Wat is lepra? Retrieved from Lepra Stichting:https://www.leprastichting.nl/wat-doen-we/wat-is-lepra
  • McMurray, D. (1996). Mycobacteria and Nocardia. In S. Baron, Baron’s Medical Microbiology (4 ed.).Texas, United States of America: University of Texas Medical Branch.
  • Poli Dermatologie, Academisch Medisch Centrum, Amsterdam. (2012). Lepra (Leven met Lepra).Retrieved January 2017, from Huidziekten.nl:https://www.huidziekten.nl/folders/nederlands/lepra.htm
  • Ryan, K., & Ray, C. (2004). Sherris Medical Microbiology. United Kingdom: McGraw Hill.
Blog · Health · Lifestyle

Essay | Leprosy in the 12th and 21st century | Introduction to leprosy

The following parts of my essay have my own copyright in formulation of words, opinions and otherwise sources are mentioned.

The past couple of weeks I have followed the History of Healthcare course as an elective course to broaden my knowledge.
We had to give a presentation about a free chosen subject. I chose to give a presentation about the ‘Antiquity and the Olympics | Medicine in the pre Hippocratic Era’.
And as a final product I chose to write an essay about ‘Leprosy in the 12th and 21st century’.

For these blog posts I will divide my essay into four parts: ‘Introduction‘, ‘What is Leprosy?’, ‘Leprosy in the 12th century’, ‘Leprosy in the 21st century and a conclusion part’.

Greetings by Sophie

Introduction to leprosy

Leprosy exists already for centuries and it was not clearly known and investigated until the eleventh and twelfth century. During that century in the Middle Ages of Europe, leprosy took a jump in spreading of the contagious infection disease and isolating the infected persons from their environment. I have heard of leprosy for the first time when I was watching the film Ben Hur (1959) (Wyler, 1959). It touched me because why would people be banned from their homes, from their city?

At the history lessons in high school, leprosy was often explained as an aggressive disease that would cause the loss of limbs. And now and then it was entangled with the Black Plague. Following this course about the ‘History of Health Care’ I thought I should figure out what leprosy is in general and why it was such a special disease during the Middle Ages, and why it still exists nowadays.

With this essay and with this introduction and the provided index; I want to give a clear overview of the comparison between leprosy in the 12th century and leprosy in the 21st century. Through several little topics I discuss the information that is provided through lots of sources and many points of view. In the conclusion I will summarize again this comparison of the two centuries.

This essay is aimed for any human that is interested in learning a bit more about the still existing disease leprosy. It is also aimed for any student of any high school or college level, to have a general correct knowledge and recognition about this disease. It can happen to anyone and therefore it should be more aware among the ever-growing world population.

Written by Sophie van den Akker,

Rotterdam, January 2017

Figure 1: 'Jesus heals a leper' Copyright Wolfmueller.files.wordpress.com
Figure 1: ‘Jesus heals a leper’ Copyright Wolfmueller.files.wordpress.com
Bibliography
  • Wyler, W. (Director). (1959). Ben Hur [Motion Picture].
Blog · Culture · Events · Lifestyle · Social Media

Christmas Eve 2016

Today on the Christmas Eve of 2016

I

WISH

YOU A

LOVING WONDERFUL

AND HAPPILY BEAUTIFUL

MERRY CHRISTMAS – and a good – 2017!

LOVES FROM SOPHIE

Blog · Events · Lifestyle

24th Birthday!

30 november 2016

Yeey today is my birthday! Today it was 24 years ago that I was born, on a monday evening and it was snowing.

The last day of the month november, a day in the month of the Sagittarius.

Today

Today it is around 5 degrees celsius and it was a sunny day.

When is your birthday?

Back in history

What happened on 30 november, in 1992 and before and after

Fact: Winston Churchill is born on 30 november 1874

Holidays and observances:

Thanks to Wikipedia

 

Greetings by the birthday lady Sophie

Books · Lifestyle · Social Media

Reading beside books

Everyone who loves to read a book now and then, or often, will recognize this. The time you can spend on reading books. The time you spend on reading other – necessary or required – readings. How much time do you spend on reading other things than books?

The past couple of decades and the past couple of years, the internet has become very important for the ordinary human. For example:

  • You have to verify that you are ‘you’. Is it at the municipality, the airport, lots of things that are digitalized.
  • At college or at the university: you have your own ‘student account’ to access documents online and stuff.

Continue reading “Reading beside books”

Drinks

Texels Skuumkoppe

Last week I visited a nice small café which is known for its specialty beers, its large choice of whiskey and its diverse range of rum. I had a meeting with a friend to have a nice chit chat since months. She knows this café as well and recommended it to have a drink over there. Welcome to The Cat | Jazz & Cigar Bar Rotterdam.

Now and then I like the taste of beer and there are moment when I drink now and then and moments when I drink not for months. I prefer a blond or a white beer so I chose… Texels Skuumkoppe! Years ago when I was on holiday at the island Texel I have been to the brewery and had a tasting of the different beers. This is my favorite and this time…I noted my opinion about the beer.

Copyright Texels Speciaalbier
Copyright Texels Speciaalbier
Copyright Texels Speciaalbier
Copyright Texels Speciaalbier

Texels Skuumkoppe is a white bear brewed on the little island named Texel in The Netherlands.

What makes this beer so beautiful? Except for being Dutch from the northern isles and not a Belgian blond or a German blond which are also widely available. This beer has a special character.

The beer tastes full of flavour but also:
– light, not heavy at all
– sparkling, yes luckily not as much as soda but just pleasant.

A small slice of lemon would finish it in my opinion, but is not necessary and only during summer.

The beer is not as blond as other white beers you’ll see around in The Netherlands. It is a dark wheat beer and suitable for every season and in summer: served with a slice of lemon or accompanied by a glass of ice you have a nice cooling drink. And at the café accompanied by (live) jazz music, you can enjoy this special beer.

 

Which kind of beer do you prefer? Blond / Double / Triple ?

Facts :

Continue reading “Texels Skuumkoppe”

Lifestyle · Travel

Vienna at First Sight

Topics: monday afternoon – wien mitte – karlsplatz – oper
Monday afternoon

This morning I left my hometown to spend a week in Vienna as a young student tourist. My thoughts about this morning you can read in my previous blog post –> Travel in Vienna.

My flight was pleasant, some turbulence high above in the clouds but the landing itself was perfect. And I have finished the first chapter of my holiday book: ‘Labyrinth’ written by Kate Mosse. As soon as I left the tunnel from the airplane to the airport I was surprised by the beauty an airport can look like. Glass darkened walls but such a modern look. After a long straightforward walk and up and downstairs switches I arrived at the baggage claim and received my luggage. Now it was time to travel to the city center of Vienna itself and find my hotel.

Continue reading “Vienna at First Sight”

Lifestyle · Travel

Travel in Vienna

Monday morning

Today I am flying to Vienna to have a week full of culture, animals – yes the famous panda’s of Tiergarten Schönbrunn (Zoo Vienna), music such as the famous classical composers like Mozart but the Jazz category as well, architecture and technology. Or at least I try to find some jazz.

This whole week I will write about everything I experience, if I can keep up with all the writing but I’ll try. I intend to visit with the Vienna Pass an activity amount of 30+, maybe around 35. I was interested in at least 40 so choices have to be made later this week what to do and what to skip.

The Sachertorte is one I can’t ignore and will definitely try. And I will see how average my German still is after several years of my last German lesson in college as a junior. I am also one day visiting the United Nations Head Office that is located in Vienna.

I am ready to go and my plane is waiting. Vienna here I come!

Have you ever been to Vienna?

Greetings by Sophie

Challenge · Food · YouTube

Masterchef Celebrity edition 2016 trailer

Trailer Celebrity Masterchef 2016

 

Masterchef is a worldwide known television cooking programme.
To me it all started with Masterchef Australia. After that I have watched now and then ‘Masterchef USA’, ‘Masterchef United Kingdom’, ‘Masterchef New Zealand’ and this year I have seen ‘Masterchef Holland’ as well. A former high school exam classmate was a competitor in this cooking competition programme.

Today a new video of Masterchef United Kingdom showed up on YouTube. Masterchef United Kingdom is not the first one with this formula, in 2009 Masterchef Australia introduced their Celebrity edition. And they have the most various editions of all Masterchef participating countries. I have not seen such a Celebrity edition before, I have only seen a Junior edition and a Professionals edition. I am looking forward to this special edition. And the English are full of their typical jokes. Fun to watch!

Continue reading “Masterchef Celebrity edition 2016 trailer”
Culture · Food · Recipe

The Zòngzi recipe

Today it is the 5th of the 5th month in the Chinese lunar calendar. This means that today for all Chinese is a special day of celebration. The day of the Dragon Boat Festival that is one of China’s cultural highlights.

History

This festival exists already for more than 2000 years and with this celebration day they honor Qu Yuan who was a famous Chinese poet and even a minister in ancient China. The period he lived in is also known as the Warring States Period. No history lesson about that in this blog post, but about a special kind of food they eat during this festival.

Rice Dumplings in Bamboo leaves. Copyright to Stephen Jack for the photo. Published on eatingchina.com
The zòngzi special dumplings

Continue reading “The Zòngzi recipe”