Edward Jenner: How Smallpox Changed The World

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Since the ancient times, Smallpox has devastated the world, killing millions of people. Often referred to as the speckled monster, the smallpox disease originated in the new world when Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors and early english settlers arrived in the americas. Although there had been attempts to cure the disease, including variolation, (that came from asia 2,000 years ago), they all had a high risk of death. It wasn’t until 1796, when Edward Jenner, a english paleontologist came up with a new form of vaccine, it was called inoculation. The disease decimated the local population and was instrumental in the fall of the empires of the Aztecs and the Incas. Similarly, on the eastern coast of North America, the disease was introduced…show more content…
In 1796 a new discovery was made by Edward Jenner, a British doctor. After studying that dairymaids rarely contracted smallpox after bouts of cowpox, “a disease which caused blistering on cow’s udders,” (History. Com, Jenner tests the smallpox vaccine). Unlike smallpox, which caused severe skin eruptions and dangerous fevers in humans, cowpox led to few ill symptoms. Jenner took fluid from a cowpox blister and scratched it into the skin of James Phipps, an eight-year-old boy. A single blister rose up on the spot, but James soon recovered. On July 1, Jenner inoculated the boy again, this time with smallpox matter, and no disease developed; the vaccine had been a…show more content…
There has been a growing recognition of Benjamin Jesty as the first to vaccinate against smallpox. When smallpox was present in Jesty's hometown in 1774, he was determined to protect the life of his family. Jesty used material from udders of cattle that he knew had cowpox and transferred the material with a small lancet to the arms of his wife and two boys. The trio of vaccines remained free of smallpox, although they were exposed on numerous occasions in later life. Benjamin Jesty was neither the first nor the last to experiment with vaccination. In fact, the use of smallpox and cowpox was widely known among the country physicians in the dairy counties of 18th-century England. However, the recognition of these facts should not diminish our view of Jenner's accomplishments. It was his relentless promotion and devoted research of vaccination that changed the way medicine was

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