Jun 20, 2022

The 14th Century Black Death Started in Kyrgyzstan

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Without antibiotics or any understanding of how the disease spread, The Black Death wiped out between 30 and 50% of Europe’s population. It got its name from the spots that appeared on those who were infected. The name bubonic plague refers to buboes which were painfully swollen lymph nodes that bulged. The Black Death infections included other symptoms such as delirium, high fever, and vomiting.

The key to uncovering the origin relies on evidence from three women who were buried near Lake Issyk Kul on the edge of the Tian Shan mountains. They died in 1,338 and 1,339 of what was referenced on their grave markers as a pestilence. Nearby were many more grave markers covering the decade before The Black Death arrived in Europe.

Y. Pestis was a bacterium that resided in fleas which then past it on to animals and humans through bites. Rats were seen as the likely source of Europe’s outbreak. But humans were facilitators of the spread along trade routes from Central Asia to Europe. What we do know is that the original strain of Y. Pestis mutated into four variants with one of those arriving in Europe seven years after the Kyrgyzstan outbreak.

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