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Volume 16, Number 2—February 2010
Historical Review

New Hypothesis for Cause of Epidemic among Native Americans, New England, 1616–1619

John S. MarrComments to Author  and John T. Cathey
Author affiliations: Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, Virginia, USA (J.S. Marr); King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (J.T. Cathey)

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Table 1

Summary of published interpretations suggesting or discounting possible causes of an epidemic among Native Americans, New England, 1616–1619*

Cause Suggested Discounted
Yellow fever Webster (2) Cook (1), Williams (3), Carter (4), Bratton (6)
Plague Williams (3) Carter (4), Hoornbeek (5), Bratton (6), Crosby (9)
Influenza Carter (4)
Smallpox Bratton (6), Holmes (7) Cook (1), Webster (2), Williams (3), Hoornbeek (5)
Chickenpox Hoornbeek (5), Cronon (10) Bratton (6)
Typhus Lescarbot (11) Williams (3), Bratton (6)
HBV/HDV Speiss and Speiss (8)
Leptosopirosis This study

*HBV, hepatitis B virus; HDV, hepatitis D virus.

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  4. Carter  H. Yellow fever: an epidemiological and historical study of its place of origin. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins; 1931.
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