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500 years later, scientists think they've solved germ mystery that nearly wiped out Mexican population
February 16, 2018, AFP (Australia) by Staff

IN 1545, disaster struck Mexico’s Aztec nation when people started coming down with high fevers and headaches, bleeding from the eyes, mouth and nose. Death generally followed in three or four days.

Within five years, as many as 15 million people — an estimated 80 per cent of the population — were wiped out in an epidemic the locals named “cocoliztli”.

The word means “pestilence” in the Aztec Nahuatl language. Its cause, however, has been in question for nearly 500 years.

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