Pope Gregory the Great (590AD) denounced leprosy as a punishment for sinful behaviour. Actually it is caused by a bacteria, and spread by inhaling droplets from someone’s nose.
The bacteria prevents the suffer feeling pain in their extremities – which can become permanently damaged (or drop off) over time due to repeated injuries, infection and unnoticed wounds.
Leprosy is treatable with a cocktail of powerful drugs which has resulted in reducing the cases to about 200,000 a year world wide – half of which are in India. Thank you to B Jehle for the sad photo of hands deformed by leprosy.