Disease is a silent killer. Sometimes you’re dead and gone before anyone even realizes what happened. Many societies in American history have been greatly affected wiped out because of a disease. And to other people that disease could be just the flu, take some medicine and get over it, where one out of thousands die from it.
The article 1491 says, “The epidemic (probably of viral hepatitis, […]) took years to exhaust itself and may have killed 90 percent of the people in coastal New England.” This proves that disease can be a very harmful thing and often a deadly thing. The Europeans ship wrecked in America and The Patuxet Indians imprisoned the survivors. Europeans were carrying a disease with them, that to them was nothing and they were probably immune to it. The Indians, on the other hand, had never been exposed to this disease so it wiped out their entire civilization. If the Indians would have had the proper medicine or immunity to it, who knows what they would have gone on to do or accomplish.
“The Indians in Peru, Dobyns concluded, had faced plaques from the day the conquistadors showed up [..].” Smallpox was the first of the Indians problems. Which lead to complete chaos allowing Francisco Pizarro to seize the empire, the size of Spain and Italy combined with only 168 men. If it weren’t for smallpox Pizarro would have never been able to conquer the Incans. This proves how powerful and effective a disease can be. Smallpox then led too many other diseases until the whole Incan empire was wiped out.
Diseases not only can be transferred from person to person but also from animals. Article 1491 also says, “Pigs bread exuberantly and can transmit diseases to deer and turkeys. Only a few [...] pigs [infected with smallpox] would have had to wander off to infect the forest.” The Europeans lived close to the pigs, so over many years they would gain immunity towards the swine flu carried by the pigs. However, Indians had never seen animals such as; pigs,...
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