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Wednesday, October 30

NY Times Don't Blame Columbus for All the Indians' Ills "In recent examinations of 1,000-year-old Peruvian mummies, for example, paleopathologists discovered clear traces of tuberculosis in their lungs, more evidence that native Americans might already have been infected with some of the diseases that were thought to have been brought to the New World by European explorers. Tuberculosis bears another message: as an opportunistic disease, it strikes when times are tough, often overwhelming the bodies of people already weakened by malnutrition, poor sanitation in urban centers and debilitated immune systems." This article looks at the health trends in the Americas before and after the first contacts with the Europeans. It cites new research that indicates life wasn't that rosy for pre-Columbian natives and urbanization had just as big an impact as new diseases coming from Europe.

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