Smallpox

during the Columbian Exchange

The Disease

Small pox is a virus that spreads very quickly. It can be passed by contact, an exchange of any bodily fluids and in some cases, the disease can be airborne. It causes there to be a rash on the face and forearm of the victim and that rash begins to spread across the body. The infected person normally only takes 12 days after being exposed to the disease before these symptoms become apparent along with fever, headaches, and severe pain that overall results in death.

Small pox

Populations

During the Columbian Exchange, Europeans from the old world came with livestock to help them settle in the Americas (the new world). And with the animals, the Europeans brought with the disease, one of these disease being smallpox. The disease most likely came from the Spaniards because they were fighting in Mexico at the time that the outbreak began.


The Europeans had already built somewhat of an immunity to the disease which had only killed up to 30 percent of their population, but the Americans had never been exposed to the disease. According to The Rise and Fall of Smallpox by Jesse Greenspan, "historians believe that smallpox and other European diseases reduced the indigenous population of North and South America by up to 90 percent."

By Jordan Rhym