Two and a half years after the start of the coronavirus pandemic, we still have serious doubts about its origin. This may seem disappointing, but perhaps it is a little less, given that the origin Black Deathwhich peaked at between 1346 and 1353has just been discovered just now.

It’s been a mystery for a long time though some hypotheses more or less accepted. However, thanks to a study just published in Nature, we have much more accurate information about what that origin might have been. In said work, researchers from Germany and the UK analyzed the genetic material of some of the bodies found in the cemetery in What is Kyrgyzstan now?

On all their tombstones was the same inscription: pestilence. This, logically, provided a clue that the deceased may have succumbed to the black plague. So they looked for traces of genetic material from Yersinia plague, the bacteria that causes this disease. And not only found, but also saw that by placing the results in Family Tree bacteria that they have recreated over the years, this bacterial strain is located above all. Therefore, it is highly likely that the epidemic originated there. At least as far as people are concerned.

Hundreds of years of terror due to the black plague

The Black Death swept through Europe, Asia and Africa for centuries. This was a time when antibiotics were still far from being discovered, so the bacterium left a dead trail wherever it moved.

His busiest years have passed between 1346 and 1353. However, later it became endemic and periodically appeared with new outbreaks. In fact, at the end of the 18th century it was revived, baptized as second black plague which lasted until the beginning of the 19th century.

After a peak from 1346 to 1353, the disease remained endemic and there were several subsequent outbreaks.

All this is more than understandable. You just have to look at the medical records of all those years and data DNA extracted from victims. What is not so clear is which path the Black Death took.

There is a suspicion that it must have originated somewhere in Eurasia and from there traveled the Mediterranean through ships carrying goods from the territories of the Golden Horde, to Black Sea. The disease later spread Europe, Middle East and North Africa. Thus more 60% of the European population.

It is also believed that he could have had another rather curious entry into Europe when Tatar-Mongols their dead by the black plague were launched from catapults during the siege Genoese city of Kaffa.

But where did it come from? Who were the first people affected? If it’s hard to know today because of the interconnectedness that we have around the world, then it must have been a lot harder. But the answer may have come at last almost 700 years later.

Excavations of the settlement of Kara-Dzhigach in the Chui valley of Kyrgyzstan, in the foothills of the Tien Shan. These excavations were carried out between 1885 and 1892.
Photo: A. S. Leybin, August 1886

Origin of the epidemic

The authors of the study just published wanted to analyze the remains found more than a century ago in an old cemetery located near Lake Issyk-Kulon the territory of present-day Kyrgyzstan.

There were many in the cemetery tombs between 1338 and 1339 so it looks like an epidemic. All the tombstones had the word “mor” recorded in Syriana dialect of Aramaic that was used in the Middle Ages in this area.

The analyzed remains were found in a cemetery excavated over a century ago.

Logically, this suggests that they may be victims of the black plague. And they were, because the genetic material was found from Yersinia plague. It only remained to find out where in the evolution of the disease the strain in question was located.

For years, genetic material found in the victims of the Black Death different times and geographical points. This made it possible to create a kind of family tree in which you can see different branches that diverge to give rise to others. As new strains have been discovered, they have been further forward or backward along this timeline, but the starting node has not yet been discovered, which the study authors describe as The big bang of the black death epidemic. And it is this strain that seems to be the knot.

Thus, we were finally able to find out where the disease originated. At least where it first spread among people. Nonetheless, Rodents are the natural reservoir of this bacterium.. Those first victims of the black plague may have been infected by rats, mice, or other rodents, and it is not known exactly where or how this happened.

What is clear is that this strain Y. pestis seems, mother of all. The starting weapon of a nightmare that lasted for centuries. And we didn’t know until now. With the COVID-19 pandemic, we have much more advanced science, but it’s also hard to find it. big Bang. For this reason, as long as scientists continue to speculate about what might have happened, we will always have the consolation that it took others a little longer. And above all, the consolation is that today we have more knowledge about how to stop situations like this. Although sometimes it seems that we have forgotten, we are much better than then.

Source: Hiper Textual

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