The Aztecs were wiped out by a horror disease that caused them to bleed from the eyes, mouth and nose, experts have revealed. Scientists say as many as 15 million people – an estimated 80 percent of the population – were killed when an epidemic known as cocoliztli swept Mexico’s Aztec nation in 1545. The word means “pestilence” in the Aztec Nahuatl language. Its cause, however, has been in question for nearly 500 years.
On Monday, scientists swept aside smallpox, measles, mumps, and influenza as likely suspects, fingering a typhoid-like “enteric fever” for which they found DNA evidence on the teeth of long-dead victims, reports news.com.au. Ashild Vagene, of the University of Tuebingen in Germany, said: “The 1545-50 cocoliztli was one of many epidemics to affect Mexico after the arrival of Europeans, but was specifically the second of three epidemics that were most devastating and led to the largest number of human losses. READ MORE