Yaws is a childhood disease causing highly infectious skin lesions. It is spread by touch and, in advanced cases, can leave sufferers with severe bone disfigurement.
While it is easily curable in its early stages today, and is almost eradicated, the bone disfigurements are irreversible. Yet 4,000 years ago there was no treatment and a new study
looked at skeletal remains from the Man Bac archaeological site, excavated in 2005 and 2007, in the Ninh Bình Province of Vietnam. After seeing what might be yaws on a photograph of Man Bac remains, a team of experts confirmed it - and University of Otago graduate student Melandri Vlok found a second example of the disease.