Disease Through the Ages.
Disease Through the Ages
How did the Aztecs prepare against smallpox? They did not because they could not. Could a city prevent a disease from entering its walls and infecting its people? Not even the tallest, thickest wall could defend against that smallest microbe of cholera. There were many elements that led to the rise of disease during history. The arrival of faster transportation between countries sped the spread of disease. The ease of communication travel through out, increased awareness and helped prepare for oncoming pandemics when possible. Some societies saw unexpected outcomes while others were devastated and did not see any positive outcome.
Native Americans were at a disadvantage which they could not have foreseen. The diseases that accompanied Spaniards across the Atlantic in 1492 varied; smallpox, measles, influenza, tuberculosis, typhus, and malaria. The Spaniards had seen many plagues and had overcome numerous other diseases which would only strengthen their immune systems. Their poor history of hygiene had served them well when it came to the decimation of the Native Americans in the New World. After their arrival the diseases spread and like an advancing invisible army quickly decimated the Native Americans. The Spaniards were not unscathed their immune systems were unprepared for the non-syphilitic treponemas of the New World.
The domesticated animals that Spaniards were so commonly used to seeing in their fields and in factories were invaluable in the prepping of diseases that would eventually ravish a continent. Most of the microbes responsible for the infectious diseases of crowded human societies evolved from daily close contact of the domestic animals who carried infectious diseases. The Native Americans did not reap in the benefits of such exposure, their culture was not known for poor hygiene or overcrowding, which minimized the cultivation of new diseases for that period.