The Devastating Toll of Smallpox: Unveiling the Tragic Death Toll Among the Inca Empire

An estimated 90% of the Inca population died from smallpox and other diseases brought by the Spanish conquistadors during the 16th century.

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During the 16th century, the devastating impact of smallpox on the Inca population cannot be overstated. Smallpox was one of the most lethal diseases brought to the New World by the Spanish conquistadors, and it rapidly spread throughout the indigenous populations lacking immunity. Historians estimate that approximately 90% of the Inca population perished as a result of smallpox and other diseases introduced by the Spanish.

One can grasp the severity of the situation from the words of historian Alfred W. Crosby, who described the smallpox epidemic among the Inca as “the greatest human catastrophe in history.” The rapid spread of the disease was facilitated by various factors, including close contact between the Spanish conquerors and the indigenous people, as well as the lack of prior exposure and immunity within the Inca population.

To further explore the impact of smallpox on the Inca civilization, here are some interesting facts:

  1. Vulnerability of the Inca: The Inca Empire was particularly susceptible to the introduction of new diseases due to its isolation from the rest of the world. This isolation meant the Inca people had no immunity to diseases like smallpox.

  2. Devastation and Inca decline: Smallpox played a significant role in the decline and eventual collapse of the Inca Empire. The sudden loss of a large portion of the population led to political instability and weakened the Inca’s ability to resist Spanish conquest.

  3. Spanish colonization and disease: The Spanish conquistadors unintentionally acted as carriers of smallpox and other infectious diseases. Their arrival in the New World triggered the rapid spread of these illnesses, causing unimaginable devastation among the native populations.

  4. Lack of immunity: The lack of exposure to diseases like smallpox meant that the Inca population had no natural defenses against the virus. This made them highly vulnerable to infection and led to the catastrophic death toll.

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Sadly, due to the limitations of the text-based format, I am unable to provide a table. However, the impact of smallpox on the Inca population is indeed a tragic chapter in history that serves as a poignant reminder of the devastating consequences of disease and the clash of different civilizations.

The video discusses the mysterious disease that devastated the Aztec civilization in the mid-16th century. Recent DNA testing has revealed that the Aztecs were actually affected by a strain of salmonella called Paratyphi C, challenging previous assumptions that European diseases were to blame. It is suggested that the Spanish may have introduced the deadly bacteria to Mexico through their mistreatment of the Aztecs as slaves. The impact of the disease was worsened by a mega-drought and other factors like human sacrifice and the smallpox epidemic, leaving the Aztecs vulnerable to the conquistadors. While further research is needed to confirm the findings, it is clear that European contact brought highly aggressive diseases to native populations, highlighting the devastating consequences of disease on Native American populations.

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Within a few years smallpox claimed between 60% and 90% of the Inca population, with other waves of European disease weakening them further. A handful of historians argue that a disease called Bartonellosis might have been responsible for some outbreaks of illness, but this opinion is in the scholarly minority.

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Likewise, How many people died from smallpox Incas? The destructive effects of the disease did not end there, and the disease also ravaged the great Incan Empire. Although the exact numbers will never be known for certain it is estimated that smallpox killed between 40 and 50 million of the native population of the New World.

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How many Incas were killed by disease?
Answer will be: Answer and Explanation: It is estimated that as many as 250,000 Incas died from smallpox. Because this disease was not found in South America until the Europeans brought it there, the Incas had no natural immunity to it and to other European diseases.

How did smallpox affect the Inca?
Answer to this: Smallpox is widely blamed for the death of the Inca Huayna Capac and blamed as well for the enormous demographic catastrophe which enveloped Ancient Peru (Tawantinsuyu).

Moreover, What was the mortality rate for the Incas? "In Inca times, the mortality rate was between 17 and 25 percent, and during the Civil War, it was between 46 and 56 percent. That’s a big difference. The question is how did the ancient Peruvian surgeons have outcomes that far surpassed those of surgeons during the American Civil War?"

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