From Viking to virus: fossil smallpox was a mutant like COVID-19

Scientists have obtained new data on the origin of smallpox. They also suggested that her agent has crossed the species barrier and transmitted from animals to humans like a virus, causing kovid-19, says Science.

research on the basis of the University of Cambridge has shown that the first carriers of smallpox could be the Vikings. According to this hypothesis, the disease is “migrated” in their ways for thousands of years before the beginning of spanih epidemics, which was to mow hundreds of thousands of lives in Europe.

the Discovery was made by studying the graves of the Normans, who lived in the VII—X centuries in Norway, Denmark, Britain, and Russia. The remains of 13 of the Vikings, particularly in their teeth, the researchers found traces of smallpox. Thus was established a common ancestor of Variola virus major, originated about 1700 years ago. Note that the finding thus is inconsistent with another theory of the emergence of a smallpox — namely, that this disease was accompanied by a man.

the Ancient smallpox virus, according to Cambridge scientists, was more like a non-human animal. So, for example, can be found in rodents. The Vikings had brought smallpox to all parts of Europe, and experts see in this an analogy with the pandemic coronavirus, which is also spread by people who traveled around the world.

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