Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Did the Conquistadores Bring Disease to the Aztecs?

Well, they brought smallpox, which was a killer--but not the Big One:

The fevers were contagious, burning, and continuous, all of them pestilential, in most part lethal. The tongue was dry and black. Enormous thirst. Urine of the colors of sea-green, vegetal green, and black, sometimes passing from the greenish color to the pale. Pulse was frequent, fast, small, and weak—sometimes even null. The eyes and the whole body were yellow. This stage was followed by delirium and seizures. Then, hard and painful nodules appeared behind one or both ears along with heartache, chest pain, abdominal pain, tremor, great anxiety, and dysentery. The blood that flowed when cutting a vein had a green color or was very pale, dry, and without serosity. . . . Blood flowed from the ears and in many cases blood truly gushed from the nose. . . . This epidemic attacked mainly young people and seldom the elder ones.

"This was certainly not smallpox," Acuña-Soto says. "If they described something real, then it appeared to be a hemorrhagic fever."

...All types of hemorrhagic viruses share traits. They are extremely simple, composed only of RNA enveloped in a fatty membrane, and they all must develop first in an animal host—often rodents or bats—and are spread by insects such as ticks or mosquitoes. A bite, direct exposure to rodent feces or urine, or indirect exposure through windblown particles can pass the virus to humans. If cocolitzli had been caused by a hemorrhagic virus, Acuña-Soto realized, the Spanish could not have brought it with them. Such diseases do not readily pass from one person to another, so the virus must have been native.

The hemorrhagic fevers occurred in 1545 and 1576--during a rainy year following lengthy droughts, exactly the pattern one would expect.

How long before the La Raza gang revises their "white devils" history to reflect this?

HT: Grim's Hall

1 comment:

Billiam said...

They won't. It doesn't fit the template of Gringo is the REAL illegal here, not us. Also, it wouldn't play well with the media and their agenda. Cynical enough, or just mildly jaded?