Turns Out a Common Infection Might Have Killed Off the Aztecs

Any student of the history of the Americas knows that indigenous populations in the New World were decimated — sometimes intentionally! — by diseases from Europe. While we have stories of smallpox and similar diseases being used as an effective biological weapon against these people, there are some pandemics that don’t have a clear culprit. During the 16th century, Mexico’s Aztec nation was inundated by some kind of illness the locals called the “cocoliztli,” whose symptoms...

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