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date: 23 May 2024


The Oxford Companion to United States History
Karen WallochKaren Walloch

Smallpox, a highly contagious, often fatal viral disease marked by high fever and skin eruptions that leave survivors severely disfigured, was one of the most deadly diseases that Europeans unwittingly brought to the Americas. Native Americans, lacking both immunity and experience with its ravages, succumbed quickly when it swept through Mexico and Central America in the 1520s. The first pandemic established a pattern of devastation that persisted into the twentieth century. From ... ...

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