The History of Smallpox and How It Became Eradicated Essay

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Smallpox is an ancient and very deadly disease. Scientists think that smallpox first started around 10,000 B.C. in Africa. They also think that it spread from Africa to India by Egyptian merchants. Scientists have studied the mummy of the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses V., who died in 1156 B.C., and they think that he had smallpox. Smallpox was also known to be in China in 1122 B.C. There are also writings from India around that same time that mention smallpox. Smallpox is the only disease to ever be eradicated, which means it is no longer around. The last person to have it was in Somalia in 1977. Smallpox first appeared in Europe between the 5th and 7th centuries and was common in the Middle Ages. There was an epidemic of smallpox around the …show more content…

Andrew Jackson got it when he was 14, while he was a British prisoner during the American Revolution. His brother was a prisoner with him and died from smallpox. Abraham Lincoln got sick right after he gave his famous speech, “The Gettysburg Address.” He was sick for almost four weeks and survived, but one of his servants did not. Smallpox is caused by the variola virus. It is in the family of viruses called Poxviridae. There are two kinds of variola virus, variola major and variola minus. Variola major is much more severe than variola minor and kills about 30% of people who are infected. Variola minor kills between 1 and 5% of those infected. Smallpox does not infect any animals except humans and people or animals cannot just carry the disease. Smallpox is spread by face-to-face contract. It can also be spread through the bed sheets and clothes of people who have the disease. The symptoms of smallpox start about two weeks after people get the virus, with a fever and feeling of low energy. People also have headaches, sore throats, flu symptoms, and start throwing up. After a few days, a rash that is raised above the skin begins. People also get sores inside the mouth, throat, and nose. After a person has had smallpox for about three weeks, scabs form and then begin to fall off. A person is contagious from the time the fever starts until the last scab falls off. People do not spread the disease at school or out in

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