(ORDO NEWS) — In the 1300s, Europeans suffered from a terrible disease – the plague, which claimed the lives of millions of people. Scientists suggested that they were able to detect patient zero – the first person who picked up a new bacterium for that time.
It is reported by the BBC.
According to Dr. Ben Krause-Kiora of the University of Kehl, he and his colleagues have the remains of a person that is 5,300 years old. They were found in a grave on the banks of the Salac (river in Latvia). In addition to the man, there were three other bones.
Thanks to the analysis of bone tissue and teeth, experts were able to find out the presence of the plague bacteria in the body. Apparently, the infection came from a rodent. Death occurred a few days later from septic shock, maximum – in a week.
Various assumptions say that the Black Death itself arose 7 thousand years ago, during the period of active development of agriculture by the inhabitants of Europe. Periodically, the Yersinia pestis bacterium passed from animals to humans, but there were no serious outbreaks of the disease. When the bacteria finally adapted to the human body, an epidemic occurred.
The plague exists to this day, however, humanity has learned to fight it. In the early stages, the Black Death is quickly treated with antibiotics. According to some theories, it was the plague that caused the sharp decline in the population in Western Europe during the Neolithic period. True, this theory is controversial.
The bacterium causes severe symptoms; the disease cannot be tolerated in a mild form. As a rule, people suffer from fever, swollen lymph nodes, and endure high body temperature.
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