Download The Life and Death of Smallpox by Ian Glynn, Jenifer Glynn PDF

By Ian Glynn, Jenifer Glynn

From historical Egypt, India and China, smallpox unfold around the globe. It defeated armies, relieved sieges, killed emperors, performed havoc with dynasties, helped to set up Buddhism in Japan, and at concerning the time of Muhammad's beginning it stopped Christian Abyssinians from shooting a nonetheless pagan Mecca. whilst person epidemics have been killing tens of millions within the early 18th century, the adoption of the 'folk-medicine' perform of inoculating with smallpox itself gave a few defense to these inoculated - yet on the price of spreading the an infection. within the 1790s Edward Jenner's excellent experiments in 'vaccinating' with cowpox introduced desire, not just of saving lives but additionally of ultimately removing the illness. The perform unfold around the international astonishingly quickly. It took over 2 hundred years to accomplish world-wide eradication; and it is still an impressive and up to now a distinct clinical and political success. yet now smallpox is among the first offerings for foreign bio-terrorism. This e-book tells the attention-grabbing and scary tale of this terrifying disorder, from the pustules at the mummy of Ramses V to present anxieties - an excellent mix of background, technological know-how and politics.

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James II’s baby son Charles died from smallpox. 25 Where statistics exist, as in London and in Geneva, smallpox appeared increasingly to replace plague as the principal cause of death. The figure for annual smallpox deaths in London was seventy-two in 1633, but it was over 1,000 for the first time in the epidemic year 1634, and in five other years before plague had its final explosion in 1665. 26 While the explorers were spreading smallpox with such devastation round the world, increased mobility within Europe was helping its spread in a less dramatic way.

I had no Fire allowed in my Room, my Windows were constantly open, my Bed-Clothes were ordered to be laid no higher than my Waste. He made me take twelve Bottles of Small Beer, acidulated with Spirit of Vitriol, every twenty Four Hours. 32 (Dover was more notable for his eventful life than for his medical skill. indb 41 14/3/07 18:08:47 The Life and Death of Smallpox and ipecacuanha, known as ‘Dover’s powder’, and he denounced the College of Physicians as a ‘clan of prejudiced gentlemen’. ) A personal quarrel, with arguments over the relative merits of vomits and purges as treatment for smallpox, on one occasion even led to blows.

The French noted the resemblance between the rashes associated with the two diseases, and distinguished syphilis as ‘la grosse vérole’ and smallpox as ‘la petite vérole’. Hence, in English, the great pox and the smallpox. indb 29 14/3/07 18:08:45 4 Smallpox in the age of discoveries: 1500–1700 J ohn Simon, Britain’s first Medical Officer of Health – and a close friend of Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites – wrote a classic and dramatic report to Parliament in 1857. It was about the history and practice of vaccination, and the introduction described the ravages of smallpox as it had spread from Europe around the world: To remote or insular populations, having infrequent and difficult intercourse with the busier masses of mankind, such an infection would come seldom; but, having come, it would find, perhaps, the entire generation prone to receive it … Thus it was that in 1518, following European adventure to the Western world, it concurred with fire and sword and famine and blood-hounds to complete the depopulation of St Domingo; thus, that soon afterwards, in Mexico, it even surpassed the cruelties of conquest, suddenly smiting down 31⁄ 2 millions of population and leaving none to bury them; thus, that in Brazil, in the year 1563, it extirpated whole races of men; thus, that about the same period, in the single province of Quito (according to De la Condamine) it destroyed upwards of 100,000 Indians.

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