A stamp honoring Robert Koch who discovered the tuberculosis bacterium, 100 years after his discovery. 1982 The pathogen appears like small sticks; the scanning electron micrograph was colored - such micrographs are not colored by the microscope, but Koch did use a dye for his light microscope. (see also yesterday)
"Leprosy is a disease that has been known since biblical times. It causes nerve damage and muscle weakness that can lead to deformities, crippling, blindness and isolation. Every two minutes someone is diagnosed with leprosy. Many Americans think leprosy no longer exists, but it still occurs in more than 100 countries worldwide." citation from American Leprosy Missions. More than 4 million people have disabilities as a result of leprosy and 150 people are diagnosed with the disease each year in the USA. The bacterium causing the disease was discovered by the Norwegian physician Armauer Hansen in 1873. stamp 100 years later
The German Society for Helping People with leprosy, tuberculosis and other diseases was founded in 1957 and has been active in many countries since then. "Aussätzige" is the word for those who have been excluded from society because of their illness, which is particularly true of those with leprosy because the effects of the disease are so readily seen. The logo is an A supporting a heart.
In earlier times a person infected with leprosy had to make noise to warn others that they were there = social distancing. They carried wooden "Klapper" as seen in the stamp of Monaco and in a painting from the 16th century. The red cross is the symbol of the Order of Malta which has helped the ill for many centuries.
Yesterday was National Doctors Day in the US. Two great doctors who worked together on the vaccine to eliminate the virus causing poliomyelitis, Jonas Salk (1914-1995) and Albert Sabin (1906-1993) can represent all the doctors and their teams dedicating their lives to helping those in need.
Elisabeth von Thüringen dedicated her life to aiding those with the worst infectious diseases and maladies. She visited those who were ostracized and gravely ill as seen in the painting and might have caught a fatal disease, dying very young. She was declared a saint in 1235.
Only a few years after her death and canonization, work began on the majestic cathedral of Marburg, where St. Elisabeth had established a hospital. The St. Elisabeth Cathedral. The Vatican issued a stamp featuring one of its painted glass windows illustrating her life. 2007
A painting dating from the 15th century (now in Karlsruhe) illustrates St. Elisabeth bringing bread to the sick and starving; when asked by a guard what she was carrying, he could see only roses. This legend explains the roses on the charity stamp of 1949, one of the first stamps issued by Germany after WW2.