Smallpox was one of the most communicable diseases in human history and was responsible for the deaths of untold millions of endogenous people around the world. Even after a vaccine for this disease was discovered in England in the 18th century. In reality smallpox was a chief weapon in the deliberate germ warfare waged by European powers against Native people because of its brutal efficiency. Within ten days of contracting the disease the victim was dead.
Tuberculosis was another weapon in the arsenal of germ warfare used against Native people in Canada. A fiercely communicable disease, spread quickly by air and contaminated food, tuberculosis was responsible for many of the deaths of children in Indian residential schools across Canada. According to government officials like Dr. Peter Bryce, residential school staff deliberately and regularly exposed healthy Indian children to tuberculosis by forcing them to sleep and play alongside children dying of the disease, and then denying them aid or treatment. It was this murderous practice that was responsible for an annual death rate in the residential schools of nearly 50%.