Germs Released from Mt. Everest’s Sneezes Persist for Centuries


Scientists reveal germs sneezing climbers can actually last longer Everest Mountain up to hundreds of years. How could that be?

Reported by detikINET from the New York Post, Friday (17/3/2023), a team of scientists examined soil samples taken from Mount Everest. As it turns out, human coughs and sneezes were preserved on Mount Everest for hundreds of years.

“There are frozen human ‘tracks’ in the Everest microbiome,” said Steven Schmidt, a microbial ecologist at the University of Colorado Boulder.

In an expedition entitled National Geographic and Rolex Perpetual Planet 2019, scientists have collected many microbes from the highest mountain in the world. The germ is bacteria Streptococcus and Staphylococcus which are common in human mouth and skin.

It is known that these sneeze freezes are found on the South Col, where climbers stop before reaching the top of the world. This is a gap at an altitude of 7,924 meters above sea level.

This research confused scientists, because organisms that are used to living in wet and humid environments, can survive for centuries in cold, dry, and other harsh conditions like the Frose microbe. Researchers describe it as a double flu.

The team assumed that the South Col and other elevated areas served as frozen sneeze collection points. “If we take samples in places that are widely used by humans on the mountain, it is likely that more microbial samples are obtained,” said the scientists.

This figure could increase as the number of climbers to Everest increases after the COVID-19 pandemic. Coupled with air temperatures that warm 0.33 degrees Celsius per decade can make bacteria that were previously dormant, become more active in the future.

Read more:  Scientists discover bacteria that can generate electricity

Although the growth of germs will not have a negative impact on Everest, it has the potential to allow microbes to thrive in conditions they shouldn’t.

This is not the first time a human pathogen has been found in an unusual place. Previously found ‘Zombie Virus’ trapped for 50,000 years in a frozen Siberian lake.

*This article was written by Mahendra Lavidavayastama, a participant in the Merdeka Campus Certified Internship Program at detikcom.

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