By Cara Murez
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 11, 2023 (HealthDay News) — While the origins of smallpox has remained a mystery for centuries, researchers now believe that it dates back 2,000 years earlier than previously thought.
Until recently, the earliest genetic evidence of smallpox, the variola virus, was from the 1600s. And in 2020, researchers found evidence of it in the dental remains of Viking skeletons, pushing its existence 1,000 years earlier.
Now, Italian scientists have used a mathematical equation to pinpoint the beginnings of smallpox, and coupled with pox scarring seen on ancient Egyptian mummies, they have pushed the emergence of the virus…