The history of smallpox goes back for thousands of years. It is thought to have appeared as much as 10,000 years ago and since then, it has claimed the lives of millions of people, many of whom have been famous figures in history. After a vaccine was discovered in 1796, countries throughout the world began the fight to eradicate the disease. This fight was won in 1980 as a result of the international effort headed by the World Health Organization. Today, smallpox is no longer a threat in nature but the virus is still stored in labs, from which a biological weapon could be made.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, a now eradicated disease called smallpox killed an estimated 300-500 million people. This life-threatening disease is marked by a rash of blisters filled with a thick, opaque fluid that cover the face, arms and legs (see Figure 1). Many of those who managed to survive smallpox were left with permanent complications such as scars, blindness, and in some instances, limb deformities. Occurrences of smallpox are believed to go as far back as 10,000 BC. One of the earliest examples of the disease is the pustular rash found on the mummified body of Pharaoh Ramses V of Egypt who died in 1157 BC.
Imagine a quick spreading rash throughout the entire body, leaving not a single space behind; every opening and crevice in your body, including your mouth and eyes covered in painful bumps accompanied by high fever and severe body aches. Flat red spots transforming into fluid-filled lesions and soon oozing out yellow pus, evidently emitting a pungent odor to anyone who dared get close. The live virus present in the darkening crusty scabs that would soon fall off only to leave behind a deep pitted scarred filled complexion on anyone who was fortunate enough to survive. These scars would be forever remembered as the hallmark for the smallpox epidemic which tormented the world for over 3,000 years. (Riedel “Deadly Diseases”).
Smallpox is caused by the variola virus an extremely contagious disease. That can be spread through any type of contact with the virus. The virus is a member of the genus Orthopoxvirus, in the Poxviridae family. Smallpox has been considered eradicated in the United States since 1972. Virologists have speculated that it evolved from an African rodent poxvirus 10 millennia ago. The name is derived from the Latin word for "spotted" and refers to the raised bumps on the face and body of the patient. (Medscape.com) Smallpox has been to blame for the extinction and almost extinction of many cultures. The disease has been used as biological warfare since the beginning or war. At times,
The smallpox epidemic that was introduced into the Americas by the European travelers was devastating, especially to the natives. Killing off 80-90% of native populations in just the first 150 years following 1492. [INSERT DIRECT SOURCE. FIND THE WEBSITE LINK, GO TO BIBME.COM AND SOURCE THIS INFO.] One of the reasons this disease was so devastating was due to the regrettable fact that the
In a letter to Patrick Henry in 1777, George Washington wrote of Small Pox “I know that it is more destructive to an army in the natural way than the sword”. At times the most minute things have the most immense impact on our lives, such was the smallpox Epidemic of 1775. It is not known how or where the outbreak began, but by 1775 it was raging through Boston. The devastation of Smallpox during 1775 played a key role in the outcome of the revolutionary war and in shaping modern medicine and how we handle diseases. But these medical advances didn't come without terrible sacrifice. Nearly 30% of people living in the Americas or 130,658 would succumb to smallpox. The death rate of Variola Major, which is the common form
One of the world’s most dreaded plagues for centuries, smallpox is now eradicated. Vaccination programs were pushed worldwide by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the disease was eliminated from the world. This push resulted in the last naturally occurring case in the world being almost 40 years ago. Once eradicated the once routine or mandatory vaccinations were stopped for the general public and it was deemed no longer necessary to prevent the disease. Although currently eradicated worldwide, two medical laboratory stockpiles still remain in Russia and the United States. With these stockpiles in existence the possibility of bio terrorism emerges and fear of these stockpiles getting into the wrong hands and being weaponized for
Despite smallpox’s long history of harm, killing nearly 300 million people in the twentieth century alone, it is now considered eradicated thanks to a vaccine and vaccination program lead by the World Health Organization. Because of its eradication,
One of the major health event happen in the 1800s is when Edward Jenner, a english doctor create vaccination to cure smallpox. Edward jenner was born in may 17 1749 and died on january 26 1823 at the age of 74 from a massive stroke. He have safe many life. Smallpox is a contagious viral disease. It cause fever and left scar. Before smallpox is being cure over 400,000 unlucky people die each year from it. SmallPox have been all over the place in the old days. It was first being seen in china in the 4th century.It being said that every 3 out of 10 people died from it and who ever survive will have scar left on them. He thought of the idea when he know a dairymaid who said “i shall never have smallpox for i have had cowpox. I shall never
Humans eradicated smallpox. Through worldwide vaccination efforts, there has not been a single wild case of smallpox, the disease that killed nearly half those it infected, since 1978. This magnificent public health feat is being replicated worldwide for more than 20 pathogens, in the process protecting humans from a host of debilitating and deadly diseases. However, we cannot rest on our laurels. We still face numerous infectious diseases with effects just as devastating as smallpox. To combat these diseases, we must put new vaccine development and improvement at the forefront of our medical research.
American children are taught throughout their primary education. That the native American population was almost wiped completely out by a disease from early settlers and conquistador. However they are not told that the disease used by these early invaders was known as smallpox. An pox virus that had appeared from time to time in the old world and laid waste to population centers. But where did it come from, are there different forms of this mysterious pathogen, is their a treatment, and how has it affected our world.
Armed with opposable thumbs and high-functioning frontal lobes, humans have historically battled disease, including the “the speckled monster”; smallpox. Known as a highly contagious virus, smallpox has been around since 10,000 B.C., and its plagues are responsible for causing millions of deaths. There was no knowledge of how to treat or prevent this disease from spreading until the idea of taking samples of dead smallpox cells and injecting them into a human was proven to build immunity. Over time, the treatment was perfected and has changed medical history by introducing the idea of the vaccine. Smallpox vaccinations eventually became mandated, and in 1979, smallpox was declared to be the first disease to ever be completely eradicated from
The disease was generally confined to the Eurasian landmass before the 15th century; however, European colonists introduced smallpox to the Americas (but also Africa and Australia) between 15th and 18th century with devastating case-fatality rates that approached 90%. It is generally believed that this was instrumental in the fall of the empires of the Aztecs and the Incas.
Until the development of the smallpox vaccine in 1796, inoculation using the live smallpox virus was the only way to protect people from the deadly disease. Those inoculated had a chance of contracting the full virus and potentially dying from the disease. When Edward Jenner discovered that he could use a similar disease found in cattle, he began the modern era of vaccination (The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, 2015). Over the next 200 years, smallpox was essentially driven extinct by vaccination programs. Due to vaccines, a disease that killed an estimated 300 million people in the 20th century alone now only exists in a Center for Disease Control laboratory. (Flight, 2011).