posted on Apr, 29 2009 @ 07:56 AM
We know from history Native Americans are overly susceptible to European and Asian diseases. It was germs not bullets that decimated the America’s
More Native Americans died of European diseases than did Europeans of American diseases. The natives had no resistance to smallpox, influenza, or
plague or even to mild (to us in this day and age) diseases like measles. Entire populations were virtually wiped out, with some Atlantic coast tribes
losing 90 percent of their adult members. Some historians go so far as to say European diseases reduced the pre-contact population of the New World as
a whole by 90 percent or more. One says the population of central Mexico was reduced from 25 million in 1519 to 3 million by 1568 and only 750,000 by
the early 1600s, 3 percent of the pre-conquest total.
Granted, some of these horrifying numbers may be arrived at by exaggerating the size of the original population. One researcher says there were 18
million people living north of Mexico before Columbus, but a more conservative estimate puts it at four million and some say only 1 million. Maybe
there were only 12.5 million precolumbian Mexicans, not 25 million. Even so we're talking 94 percent mortality for central Mexico, maybe 87 percent
for the Americas overall, reducing the population from 80 million in 1500 to 10 million 50 years later. One can make a good case that it was European
germs rather than European military prowess that conquered the New World. One can also argue that disease led to the African slave trade. The
conquistadors would have been happy to enslave local labor except that it was dead.
Why were the natives so vulnerable? The best guess is that Europe had been a crossroads for war and commerce for millennia and so had encountered an
extraordinary number of pestilences, while the Americas were isolated and had not. Europeans had also spent a long time around domestic animals, which
were the source of many of the most virulent diseases to afflict humans in the Old World. In contrast, native Americans had few domestic animals. As a
consequence Europeans had developed some resistance to disease but Native Americans hadn't.
That's not to say Europeans were immune. While millions of Native Americans died of European diseases, millions of Europeans died of European
diseases, too. In fact, one reason the natives suffered such catastrophic mortality was that Europeans arriving in the New World were walking petri
dishes for germs. In some years 25 percent of European immigrants died at sea, often of diseases such as typhus that they had picked up in the ports
they had just left. Epidemics were common in Europe. It was not uncommon for a town to lose a third of its population to some new outbreak. Armies
invariably lost more soldiers to disease than to combat. (Judging from U.S. figures, this remained true up until World War II.)
That was then this is now. In the US and Europe children are automatically started on vaccines to prevent childhood illness. Not so in the poorer
sections of Mexico. They simply do not have a health care system like we do. Plus when we talk about Mexico City we’re talking about a city of
20,000.000 crowded dirty, what one could call an oppressive press of the masses. Think NYC only bigger. One highly contagious bug like this would
naturally spread like wildfire. Once again Native immune systems not accustomed to viruses such as these and tend to overreact.
Seems to me the mortally rate should be higher in the more rural parts of the Americas and those up here north of the border with some Native
heritage would be well advised to be especially vigilant in protecting your health. The simple fact is some races are just predisposed to becoming
gravely ill when confronted by new viruses like this …