Syphilis, commonly known as a sexually transmitted disease, has been in existence long before any modern-day human lives existed. Many blame Christopher Columbus for bringing the disease back to Europe after discovering the Americas. However, no one has been able to prove for certain that he specifically contracted and spread it.
Dental Growth Delays in Children
Syphilis can be spread to unborn babies. This can occur during pregnancy and during birth. As these children are exposed to the disease, it has been noted that those children experienced delays in dental growth. In some, their teeth grew in months to a year after children that had not been exposed. When losing “baby teeth”, some children exposed to syphilis experienced a delay in regrowth.
14th Century Patient Unearthed
Researchers at unearthed a patient to dig further into the start or origin of Syphilis. During the 14th Century, a documented case of syphilis led the researchers to a properly labeled grave site, in which the permission to exhume the remains for scientific research was granted.
This patient did, in fact, have dental deformities. The deformities include vampire-like canine teeth and dome shaped molars.
Advanced Disease Stages
Prior to modern-medicine, many patients with Syphilis died and the disease remained highly contagious. Open, infectious sores are a common symptom of Syphilis. Now, these sores can be treated with antibiotics and other medications. As the disease advances, paralysis and blindness were common.
Given that the unearthed remains prove that Syphilis existed in Central Europe at least a century before Christopher Columbus returned from the Americas, many still place blame on him. With the research study published in the Journal of Biological and Clinical Anthropology, Christopher Columbus’ name should now be cleared. The proof was the body of a sufferer that was buried in an ancient cemetery located in St. Polten, Austria.
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