Articles

New Study links Christopher Columbus to Syphilis

In health, History, off-beat on January 15, 2008 by Editor Z

A recent study suggests that the explorer Christopher Columbus, who on a voyage in 1492 is frequently credited with discovering the land that would become the Americas, to the broader world, is suggested to perhaps have been the bridge that brought Syphilis to Europe and world wide.

Syphilis, is a sexually transmitted disease that can begin with a sore or many sores, but can eventually can escalate to rashes, spots and symptoms such as headaches, fevers, hair and wight loss, and a loss of energy. Later it can result in frayed nerves, damage to sight, paralysis, dementia, and even if left untreated death.

The latest study that indicates Columbus may have been the carrier of syphilis from the then non-European world of what would become the Americas to the European continent, and thus around the globe, released its findings Monday and are published in the Journal of the Public Library of Science.

Reuters:

A genetic analysis of the syphilis family tree reveals that its (the bacteria Tereponea Pallidum, which causes syphilis) closest relative was a South American cousin that causes Yaws, an infection caused by a sub-species of the same bacteria.

“Some people think it is already an ancient disease that our earliest human ancestors would have had. Other people think it came from the New world,” said Kristen Harper, an evolutionary biologist at Emory University in Atlanta.

“What we found is that syphilis or a progenitor came from the New world to the old world and this happened pretty recently in human history,” said Harper, whose study appears in the Journal Public Library of Science Neglected Diseases.

She said that the study lends credence to the “Columbian Theory”, which links the first recorded European Syphilis epidemic in 1495 to the return of Christopher Columbus and his crew.

“When you put our genetic data with that epidemic in Naples in 1495, that is pretty strong support for the Columbian hypothesis,” she said.

MY TAKE: Finally a reason everyone can hate Christopher Columbus. he brought diseases to both Europe and America. As well as opened the door to colonizing the American territories. He pushed aside the inhabitants as well as the many others who had much earlier come ashore to the “new world”, and took credit for discovering the Americans. Its absurd that we have a holiday honoring this man who it is propagated “discovered America”. He may have “discovered” it from the point of view of western Europe, but in truth he did not “discover” America.

Anyway now we find it is likely that in addition to news of his new “discovery”, he brought back the undesirable gift of syphilis back to Europe and thus other continents around the globe. Thanks for bringing home the Syphilis Chris!


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