A team of European researchers says the Black Death, which killed half of Europeans in the 14th century, came from present-day Kyrgyzstan.
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Findings from a research paper published in the prestigious journal Natural This contradicts other theories that the disease first appeared in China.
The disease caused more outbreaks in Europe and Asia in the mid-14th century, killing more than 75 million people, primarily in the Middle East and North Africa. In Norway, it is estimated that two-thirds of the population dies.
Researchers took as their starting point the work of historian Bill Slaw, who suggested that black deaths may have been associated with an extraordinary number of deaths in Central Asian villages between 1338 and 1339, and examined DNA from the remains there.
Today they found traces of the bacterium Yersinia pestis, which causes bubonic plague and pneumonic plaque, in the remains of people buried under plague-causing graves in Isik-Gul Lake in Kyrgyzstan today. This bacterium causes black death, which is usually transmitted from animals to humans via plague.
– At the source of this mass spread event we discovered the presence of ancient bacterial strains from Kyrgyzstan. In other words, we have discovered the origin of black death, and we know that it has now arisen: says Maria Spiro, editor-in-chief and researcher of an article on medical history at the University of Thuringia in 1338.
Blake is still there today. If left untreated, the risk of death is about 50-60 percent, but you can be cured if you take antibiotics in a timely manner.
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