By Paul Hackett
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Additional resources for A Very Remarkable Sickness: Epidemics in the Petit Nord, 1670-1846
The result was bilateral traffic that enabled furs from the interior to be exchanged for European goods from Canada with far less risk of plunder by the Iroquois. Although the Ottawa RiverSt. Lawrence River route was lightly travelled at this time, if at all, the Petit Nord nonetheless remained well connected to the east, a crucial source of epidemic disease. Consequently, Old World infections that spread from Canada into the interior with Aboriginal traders still stood a good chance of being directed towards James Bay, and the eastern margins of the Petit Nord.
Type II cities have a population less than that required for endemicity, but greater than about 10,000. When the possibility of measles introduction is constantly present, these cities will experience epidemics at regular intervals that match the rate of the larger, endemic, cities, but the disease will be absent during the inter-epidemic periods. Type III communities, or those with fewer than 10,000 people, will suffer periodic measles epidemics, but will miss some, since they may not have built up a sufficient supply of susceptibles to fuel an epidemic by the time the disease is reintroduced from an external source.
45 In theory, each ship that sailed to Hudson Bay was an epidemic threat to the Petit Nord. We have already seen, for instance, that the European ships were quite capable of introducing OldWorld disease elsewhere in the hemisphere. 46 Indeed, some of the exploring crews suffered illnesses at this time, so they might have inadvertently passed on an OldWorld disease to the Aboriginal people of Hudson Bay or James Bay. In practice, however, such cross-oceanic transfers probably didn't occur until much later.