in relation to the Columbian Exchange

Smallpox: The Basics & Its Spread

Smallpox is a disease that causes rashes and bumps all over the body. Many experience pain in the muscles, the chills, and a fever. Some cases cause headaches, pus buildup, lesions on the skin, or vomiting. During the Columbian Exchange, which was the spread of goods and ideas between the Old World (Africa & Europe) and the New World (the Americas), smallpox was spread over to the Western Hemisphere.

The Harmful Effects

As smallpox spread to the Americas, the population there was not prepared to handle the outbreak. The indigenous population quickly became infected with the disease that the Europeans brought over, and up to 90% of the population died from the combined effects of the disease and the European's weapons. Smallpox was considered a "biological weapon" because of the sheer power the virus had to kill. In fact, smallpox killed more Native Americans than physical weapons did.

By: Neha Mohanty