QUEBEC-RESEARCH-L ArchivesArchiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2005-06 > 1118055780
Subject: RE : History Facts
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2005 07:03:00 EDT
"From the sixteenth until the beginning of the twentieth century the
European has carried measles with him on all his explorations, often with
devastating results. New Spain was infected quite early in the sixteenth century, some
historians believe that, the small leprosy, which ravaged Mexico in 1531 was
measles rather than smallpox. In North America, wide spaces and scattered
population, with frequent immigration from Europe, produced a rather different
pattern of infection. Epidemics tended to be less frequent, more severe when
they occurred, and attacking people of all ages rather than young children.
The first known epidemics were in Canada in 1635 and 1687. Boston was attacked
in 1657 and again in 1687, the later possibly being an import from Canada.
Further epidemics occurred in 1713, 1729, 1739 and much more severely in 1740.
South Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut and the remainder of
Massachusetts were attacked in 1747 and there was no major outbreak until 1759.
This was followed by an epidemic in 1772, which was particularly severe in
Boston and surrounding districts, 800 children are said to have died in
Charlestown, Massachusetts. Six years later, in 1788, New York and Philadelphia were
ravaged by measles. The disease followed the covered wagon, appearing first
in the Mississippi Valley and then in Kentucky and Ohio."