How European Germs And Diseases Killed 25 Million Native Americans In Just 30 Years

When Europeans landed on the New World, they pretty much destroying everything, acting like savages while they were looking for gold. With their heavy weaponry and their horses, they killed hundreds of thousands of people and razed the societies of Native Americans.

But this destruction was not only caused by weapons.

Bacteria and diseases have proven to be the worst enemies for the locals. Most European diseases did not exist in the isolated America and therefore, natives did not have the antibodies to cope with the “imported” bacteria. Because of that, as soon as they got in touch with the white Europeans they got ill and the disease was killing them in just a matter of weeks. (the article continues after the ad)

Europeans brought along smallpox, tetanus, a number of lung diseases, sexually transmitted diseases, trachoma, typhus, leprosy, yellow fever and even dental decay. The lack of antibodies and their weak immune systems were turning these diseases into epidemics.

What was the result in terms of numbers? According to the Brazilian anthropologist Darcy Ribeiro, this weird “biological” war killed an estimated 25 million Native Americans in just 30 years!

But why Native Americans didn’t wipe out Europeans with their diseases? Because Europeans had much more robust immune systems and were therefore, protected to most common diseases.

If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: Who Was The First European To Set Foot On North America? 


Main Article Photo: National Library of Medicine
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie
Sources: How Europeans brought sickness to the New World | Guns, Germs, and Steel

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