Did Columbus Bring Syphilis To Europe? Study Raises Doubts
A new study claims to have found evidence of syphilis in the Old World before Columbus' voyage to the Americas, reopening an old debate.By Matt Picht | December 4, 2014
In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. And in 1495, the first recorded mass outbreak of syphilis in Europe infected many people and left few alive. Coincidence, or is there a connection here?
The origins of syphilis in the Old World have been a controversial subject for many years, but the prevailing theory holds the venereal disease hitched a ride to Europe from the Americas in the bodies of some early explorers.
As one History Channel host said, "Some scientists believe it was a disease introduced to the continent by none other than Christopher Columbus after his voyage to the New World."