200-year-old poop shows rural elites in New England had parasitic infections

(Dartmouth College) In the early 19th century in North America, parasitic infections were quite common in urban areas due in part to population growth and urbanization. Prior research has found that poor sanitation, unsanitary privy (outhouse) conditions, and increased contact with domestic animals, contributed to the prevalence of parasitic disease in urban areas. A new study examining fecal samples from a privy on Dartmouth’s campus illustrates how rural wealthy elites in New England also had intestinal parasitic infections.