A new analysis of mummies has revealed that a tiny-wormlike parasite, Schistosoma mansoni that plagues people worldwide, also infected ancient Africans.
The resulting disease from the worm, called schistosomiasis, is not generally lethal. But it can cause anemia, impair internal organs, damage growth and cognitive development in children, and lead to a general chronic weakening of its human hosts.
“Before this study, it was always assumed that S. mansoni was a product of modern urbanization,” the National Geographic News quoted study co-author George Armelagos, an anthropologist at Emory University in Atlanta, as saying.
Story: Tanya Thomas, Med India | Photo: Wikimedia Commons