Researchers found when they reintroduced 200-year-old feces


TORONTO – A team of researchers from New England found that rich and powerful people were not immune to parasites even in the early 19th century.

Earlier research indicates that things like poor sanitation and unclean outhouses contribute to an increase in fecal parasites in urban areas, but new research used dehydrated feces from the Dartmouth College Campus outhouse 200 years ago, leading to the conclusion That everyone makes parasites.

“Our study is the first to show evidence of parasitic infection in a prosperous rural family in the Northeast. Until now, there has not been much evidence that parasitic disease was anywhere other than urban areas in the early 19th century. ” “Co-author Theresa Gildner, an assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis, said in a press release.

The excavated outhouse is believed to have been used in June 2019 by Dartmouth graduate Mill Olcott, a wealthy businessman and politician, his wife and nine children. According to the study, Olcott was among the wealthiest and most educated people in New England “in the early 19th century”.

Excavators excavated were well preserved and filled with more than just sewage, as privatization was also used as a waste at that time. With three faked samples, the researchers found that ceramics, coffee and peanut residues, as well as 12 Hazard and Caswell bottles, marketed to correct digestive problems.

“A lot of people probably experience symptoms of a parasitic infection, but won’t know what was causing them. The privies would be using it a lot at the moment. If people had the means, they would be able to treat stomach irritation. Will order special drugs., Which was really just adulterated alcohol, which offered no medicinal benefits, “said Jessie Kasna, lead excavator and a professor and chairman of the anthropology department at Dartmouth, the press release said .

The feces that were found were dehydrated, but the researchers rehydrated the fecal matter for testing purposes. They found that each sample had tapeworm eggs and whipworm eggs. The researchers said the total number of eggs found in the samples was small, but were consistent with each sample.

The findings were surprising to researchers, as tapworms and whipworms generally enjoy warmer climates than New Hampshire winters. People can get this type of parasite by consuming raw or undercooked meat.

This is not just the problem of previous years. Tapeworms, whipworms and other parasites are still prevalent today.

“Tapeworms and whipworms are actually common in different parts of the world even today and can lead to nutritional deficiencies, digestive problems, and poor growth,” says Gildner. “While these infections are preventable and treatable, there is still much work to be done to help prevent these infections. Access to clean water, which is essential for good hand hygiene, and hygiene are two things. Which many people still don’t have today. “

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