Smallpox in Brazilian Colonial Ages (16th and 17th Centuries)
AbstractInfectious diseases, which are part and parcel of animal life, have accompanied and shaped human history on earth, especially since man began to live in clusters. In the New World, with the arrival of the Europeans, they manifested as a “biological war of conquest”. Hitting a native population immunologically incapable of resisting them, influenza, measles and smallpox sealed the fate of millions. The aim of this paper is to recount the catastrophe that smallpox represented in the early history of Brazil, where it killed 30 to 50% of native american victims, destroyed indigenous society, caused immense damage to colonial economy, and promoted slave traffic.
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