Scientists have identified the ‘first patient’ in the plague epidemic that caused the Black Death that ravaged medieval Europe. A man in his twenties, who died in Latvia more than 5,000 years ago, is said to have been infected with the oldest known strain of the disease. The deadliest epidemic in human history swept through Europe in the 1300s and wiped out half the population. Subsequent waves continued to strike regularly for several centuries, causing millions of deaths.
Scientists have found the remains of the oldest known patient of the “Black Death,” which killed millions in medieval Europe. From the University of Kiel in Germany, Dr. “We found the oldest known plague victim ever,” Ben Krause-Kyora said of the 5,300-year-old remains.
Scientists announced that they found specimens of the first patient of the Black Death at a Neolithic burial site on the banks of the Salac River in Latvia, which empties into the Baltic Sea. It was stated that the man in question was buried with three other people.
As part of the study, published in the journal Cell Reports, the researchers analyzed DNA sequencing from samples taken from the bones and teeth of four people. Next, they tested them for bacteria and viruses. They were surprised to find that the hunter-gatherer in his twenties was infected with an ancient strain of plague caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis.
Dr. “He was likely bitten by a rodent, contracted the primary infection of Yersinia pestis, and died of septic shock for up to a week,” Krause-Kyora said.
However, the scientists noted that the ancient bacterium arose about 7,000 years ago, when agriculture began to develop in Central Europe. It was reported that the bacterium may have spread sporadically from animals to humans (occurring from time to time and in sporadic numbers in an area) from animals to humans without causing major outbreaks. After this process, Yersinia pestis eventually adapted to infect humans, eventually evolving into the form known as the bubonic plague, which was spread by fleas and ravaged medieval Europe and caused millions of deaths.
On the other hand, the idea that early plague strains were slow to spread challenges many theories about the development of human civilization in Europe and Asia. It also casts doubt on the hypothesis that the disease caused massive depopulation in Western Europe at the end of the Neolithic Age. Scientists who were not involved in the research welcomed the study. However, he said the findings do not exclude the possibility that the plague was spreading widely in Europe at the time.
The Black Death, also known as the Black Plague, was recorded as the deadliest epidemic recorded in human history. It killed up to 75-200 million people in Eurasia and North Africa. The epidemic resulted in the deaths of nearly 200 million people in the 14th century alone.
Plague, which is a very dangerous disease, is a deadly disease as well as being contagious. Yersinia pestis bacteria is generally found in animals and is mostly transmitted to humans through fleas. The disease still exists today, but can be treated with antibiotics if caught early.