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HLTB21H3 (177)
Chapter 9

Study notes on chapter 9 of "The Power of Plagues"

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Health Studies
Caroline Barakat

CHAPTER 9 Smallpox, the Spotted Plague In 1521, the subjects of the Aztec empire numbered in the millions. Incredibly, Hernan Cortes, with fewer than 600 troops, was able to topple it. On 21 August, the Spaniards stomed the city, only to find that a greater force had ensured their victo rySMALLPOX! In 1520, an expedition led by Panfilo de Narvaez arrived from Spanish Cuba. Among the crew was a smallpox-infected slave. From this initial infection, smallpox spread from village to village throughout the Yucatan. Only the Aztecs died; the Spaniards were left unharmed. It was this perceived superior power of the god the Spaniards worship that led the Aztecs and other Amerindians to accept Christianity. Twelve years later, another Spanish conquistador, Francisco Pizarro, led a group of 168 soldiers and captured Atahualpa. Smallpox had arrived in Peru by land in 1526, killing much of the Inca population. When Pizarro landed on the coast of Peru in 1531, the stage for the Inca conquest had already been set; the smallpox epidemic that had preceded the conquistadors had weakened the Inca Empire, there was civil war, and Atahualpas army was vulnerable and disarray. Smallpox was an Old World disease to which the New world Amerindians had never been exposed, and against which theynh oaimmunity . Over the centuries, smallpox had killed hundreds of millions of people. *Smallpox is indiscriminate. It has been suggested that in Europe the use of makeup began among wealthy survivors in order to hide smallpox-induced scars on their faces. A look back It is suspected that humans acquired the infectious agent from one of the pox-liked diseases of domesticated animals, in the earliest concentrated agricultural settlements of Asia or Africa when humans began to maintain herds of livestock, some time after 10,000 BC. www.notesolution.com
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