When a disease spreads from an animal to a person, scientists have discovered one of the first examples of spillover. A Neanderthal man became unwell after slaughtering or boiling raw meat, according to scientists. In 1908, the remains of a Neanderthal were discovered in a cave at La Chapelle-aux-Saints, France. Re-examination of the skeleton was taking place at the time. He was known as “Old Man La Chapelle,” and he’s one of the most studied Neanderthals ever unearthed when he was found.
A Neanderthal Man Who Became Ill After Slicing Raw Meat
Remains unearthed more than a century ago continue to provide information on the lifestyles of Neanderthals. These gigantic Stone Age hominins occupied Europe and portions of Asia until they became extinct around 40,000 years ago.
According to recent research published in 2019, a guy who died 50,000 years ago had an osteoarthritis-ridden spine and hip joint. It was discovered by Martin Haeusler, an internal medicine specialist at Zurich’s Institute of Evolutionary Medicine, that not all of the changes in bones were due to osteoarthritis’ wear and tear. Dr. Haeusler’s findings were published in Nature Communications.
The study’s results were published in Scientific Reports only a few weeks ago. However, brucellosis continues to be an issue in the contemporary world. According to the World Health Organization, humans are more likely to get the illness via contact with diseased animals, consumption of contaminated animal products, or exposure to airborne pollutants. Unpasteurized milk or cheese from unwell goats or sheep is regarded to be the most common source of outbreaks in the United States.
CDC estimates that it is one of the most prevalent zoonotic infections, which are diseases that spread from animals to people. Examples include HIV and the coronavirus responsible for the Covid-19 epidemic. Brucella infection may cause fever, muscle pain, and nocturnal sweating, according to Haeusler.
When severe, it may last for weeks, months, or even years. Hip and back pain, inflammation of the testicles (which may lead to infertility), and inflammation of the heart valves are long-term repercussions of the illness (known as endocarditis). Patients died from endocarditis, the most prevalent consequence of this disease.
“The first secure proof of this pathogen’s transmission in the evolution of Homo,” according to the paper. The sickness has also been identified in Bronze Age human skeletons reaching back 5,000 years. When chopping or preparing an animal that had been murdered for food, Haeusler believes the Neanderthal man became infected with Brucellosis. Neanderthals had access to wild sheep and goats, cattle; bison; reindeer; hares and marmots; and reindeer in their diet.
Neanderthals wiped off the mammoth and woolly rhino populations. Still, the disease’s reservoir is unlikely to be those creatures’ descendants, given that brucellosis has gone unrecognized among the animals’ surviving relatives for thousands of years.
According to Haeusler’s view, the Neanderthal’s sickness may have been milder since he lived to an advanced age for his time. With his legs bowed and his head protruding forward, he seemed to be in the early stages of bone reconstruction. The bones showed signs of osteoarthritis, indicating that it was not a typical Neanderthal as previously thought.