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Children began to become red because of the virus several thousand years ago

Researchers from Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Canada, and a number of European countries have read the genomes of human parvovirus B19 aged 500−6900 years. The findings showed that the virus, which causes infectious erythema (skin reddening) in children and joint pain in adults, has affected people for more than 12,000 years, and not for a century and a half, as was previously thought. The scientific article is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
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The authors of the new work obtained fragments of 10 genomes of B19 parvoviruses from the bones and teeth of human remains found in Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Poland, Greenland, Sweden, the Czech Republic, and Great Britain. The researchers have found that the last common ancestor of all the ten variants of parvovirus B19 existed about 12,6 thousand years ago.

The new study showed that samples of virus nucleic acid can also be extracted from human remains dated up to several thousand years ago.

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