#6 Leprosy Pandemic – Europe, 11th Century
Leprosy, also known as Hansel’s disease, is a condition caused by a contagious bacterium called Mycobacterium leprae. The bacterium affects the nerves, skin, eyes and nasal lining. Today, with advanced technology the treatment is quite effective and the disease could be cured within 6-12 months.
However, back in the middle ages leprosy was rampant in Europe and led to the construction of several hospitals to accommodate the victims. Back then it was connected with the divine punishment for severe wrongdoings and the victims were banished from the societies.
The infected people were forced to wear signs and ring bells while wandering on the roads to alert healthy people about their disease. The infected people were not allowed to share the seats or holy water in the church with others.