Viewport width =
March 23, 2015 | by  | in Science |
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

That Time We Defeated Smallpox

Woo-hoo! None of us have had smallpox, and likely never will thanks to vaccines! Smallpox is an extremely infectious viral disease which has a characteristic rash, causes high fever, and kills approximately one-third of all those infected. It is a devastating biological weapon, which had a significant effect on depleting the Native American population when it was introduced purposefully by British explorers who distributed infected blankets in the hope of weakening the native people’s resistance to colonisation. Both the USA and Russia hold secure stocks of the virus in case it ever comes in handy.

In 1770 an English doctor, Edward Jenner, learnt that a milkmaid believed herself to be protected from smallpox since she had previously been infected by cowpox. 26 years later Jenner tested the milkmaid’s theory by inoculating an 8-year-old boy with matter from a cowpox sore and, the following week, attempting to infect the boy with a human strain of fresh smallpox. The young boy remained healthy. The term vaccination stems from the Latin word “vacca”, meaning cow.

Following Jenner’s success vaccinations against smallpox became mandatory in a number of countries, and in 1980 the World Health Assembly declared the world free from smallpox.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.

Recent posts

  1. My Attention is Broke
  2. WHERE VIRAL DREAMS GO TO DIE
  3. Storytime: Angst, Agony, and Adorable Babies in Teen Mom YouTube
  4. VUWSA Responds to Provost’s Mid-Year Assessment Changes
  5. Te Papa’s Squid is Back and Better Than Ever
  6. Draft Sexual Harassment Policy Consultation Seeing Mixed Responses
  7. Vigil Held For Victims of Sri Lankan Easter Sunday Attacks
  8. Whakahokia te reo mai i te mata o te pene, ki te mata o te arero – Te Wharehuia Milroy Dies Aged 81
  9. Eye on the Exec – 20/05
  10. Critic to Launch Hostile Takeover of BuzzFeed

Editor's Pick

Burnt Honey

: First tutorial of the year. When I open the door, I underestimate my strength, thinking it to be all used up in my journey here. It swings open violently and I trip into the room where awkward gazes greet me. Frozen, my legs are lead and I’m stuck on display for too long. My ov