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Volume 8, Number 4—April 2002
Historical Review

Megadrought and Megadeath in 16th Century Mexico

Rodolfo Acuna-Soto*, David W. Stahle†Comments to Author , Malcolm K. Cleaveland†, and Matthew D. Therrell†
Author affiliations: *Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico; †University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA;

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Figure 1

The 16th-century population collapse in Mexico, based on estimates of Cook and Simpson  (1). The 1545 and 1576 cocoliztli epidemics appear to have been hemorrhagic fevers caused by an indigenous viral agent and aggravated by unusual climatic conditions. The Mexican population did not recover to pre-Hispanic levels until the 20th century.

Figure 1. The 16th-century population collapse in Mexico, based on estimates of Cook and Simpson (1). The 1545 and 1576 cocoliztli epidemics appear to have been hemorrhagic fevers caused by an indigenous viral agent and aggravated by unusual climatic conditions. The Mexican population did not recover to pre-Hispanic levels until the 20th century.

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References
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  7. Stahle  DW, Cook  ER, Cleaveland  MK, Therrell  MD, Meko  DM, Grissino-Mayer  HD, Tree-ring data document 16th century megadrought over North America. Eos. 2000;81:1215. DOI
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Page updated: July 15, 2010
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The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.
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