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Author Topic: Syphilis from sheep
snopes
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Comment: I heard in class the other day that syphilis came from men having
intercourse with sheep, but when I search for origins, I see no mention of
sheep.

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Floater
Xboxing Day


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If that had been the case the disease would have originated in Wales instead of South America.

I'll do it myself. [fish]

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Små hönor skall inte lägga stora ägg för då blir de slarviga i ändan

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Malruhn
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Floater, do you have a cite for that? I had heard that syph was started in Europe - and that Columbus already had it before 1492... ergo before we knew there was a South America.

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Floater
Xboxing Day


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The New World origin is what I've always heard. However:
quote:

It's likely that researchers will never come to an agreement about where syphilis originated and how it arrived in the Old World. The most widely accepted theory is that the venereal form of the disease arrived on the shores of Europe along with Christopher Columbus's crew, when they returned in 1493 from a journey to the New World. Indeed, although no cases of the disease seem to have existed in Europe before Columbus sailed to the New World, it had reached epidemic levels on the continent by around 1500. But in recent years, pre-Columbian skeletons -- such as those unearthed at the Hull friary in England -- have been found with distinctive signs of syphilis. Those skeletons have turned the nice, tidy picture of New World origins into a muddy mess.



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Små hönor skall inte lägga stora ägg för då blir de slarviga i ändan

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Aud
We Three Blings


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Malruhn and Floater - I read the same thing in a book called The Archaeology of Human Bones by Simon Mays. Lots of evidence of Europeon syphilis infections from before 1492.

Of course they did have sheep then too. [Smile]

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Malruhn
The "Was on Sale" Song


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I know that there is much mirth by Columbus haters when reading accounts of his life after "discovering" the "New" world. The medical maladies that he suffered follow exactly the same progression of advanced Syphilitic disease.

So the guy that the Catholics venerate as the head of the Knights of Columbus died from screwing a sheep... (or at least that is the way the joke/UL goes).

Also, I do know that it was common practice to take live livestock on vessels for long journeys - as the refrigeration units on those ships just didn't work very well... and a month into a long voyage, you could still have fresh meat.

It doesn't take much of a leap to go from having fresh meat to having a potential lover... hey, at least they weren't screwing GUYS!!! [Wink]

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Opinions aren't excuses to remain ignorant about subjects, nor are they excuses to never examine one's beliefs & prejudices...

Babies are like tattoos. You see other peoples' & they're cool, but yours is never as good & you can't get rid of it.

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Bach_girl
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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I always heard it was Herpes.

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Sabrina_Fairchild
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My english teacher my junior year of HS told us that...and then my history professor last semester talked about Columbus bringing it into America.....so I don't know. I guess it *could* be true.

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Q: Chicago has 2 professional baseball teams. The Cubs and....what is the other one? Hint: It's something you probably don't wear a lot.

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courier1009
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Well the English call it the French Pox, the French call it the Spanish Pox, the Spanish call it the Italian Pox, the Italians blame it on the sheep.
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courier1009
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Well the English call it the French Pox, the French call it the Spanish Pox, the Spanish call it the Italian Pox, the Italians blame it on the sheep.
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EthanMitchell
Deck the Malls


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Always heard it was chlamydia. And I live on a sheep farm.
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Tabby Cat
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Okay... here we go:
Syphilis

The causative agent of syphilis, Treponema pallidum is a pathogen with only one known host- humans. While this may not meant much on its own, the organism has been unable to be cultivated in vitro, and the only sucessful growth of the pathogen outside human tissue is in rabbit testes. Analysis of the mechanisms used to avoid host reponses also indicates a high level of specificity.


Perhaps the Sheep-shagging Sailors were actually Bunny-bonking Bosuns? [fish]


Seriously, given that there are other methods of transmission, such as through blood transfusions, it's more likely that an opportunistic bacterium found its way into a human host through a wound of some kind and found the new environment to its liking. Certainly you can't pick it up from any animals today.

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