How Did Columbus Have Syphilis

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be told that you have syphilis? For most this would be a quick ‘No!’ because who in their right mind would ever want syphilis!? That’s right no one would, Syphilis was a very devastating disease for the Old World. Europeans hadn’t been exposed to venereal syphilis before so they had absolutely no immunity against it, and no one knew where it had come from but each nation had their own theory of who was responsible for the outbreak. Did Columbus bring syphilis back from the new world? For a while it was debated if Columbus really brought syphilis to the old world or if it had already existed but was thought to be something else because of its symptoms being so closely related to other diseases. There a two theories of where venereal syphilis came from. The first is the “Columbian Hypothesis” stating that a disease causing agent called Treponema pallidum originated in the New World and Columbus and his crew quickly spread it in 1492. They allegedly contracted it from the natives of Hispaniola through…show more content…
The soldiers (many of which were also apart of Columbus’ crew) were accompanied by camp followers which included cooks, medical attendants and prostitutes. The soldiers spread syphilis to the prostitutes and then they helped to spread it to others around the area. This really was a recipe for disaster. It had an enormous impact on the world. Part of the reason that the impact was so great was because syphilis wouldn’t just die out like other disease did in that time. For example the Black Death. It didn’t exactly die out but it left and reappeared multiple times throughout the 1400s and 1800s. Syphilis did not do this. Once it hit Europe it spread like wildfire, the Russians called syphilis the ‘Polish disease’ the Polish called it the ‘Turkish disease’ and the Turkish called it the ‘Christian disease’. (Frith,

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