An introduction to the history of smallpox

Boston, Massachusetts Of the 1, cases reported in this epidemic, died. For more than years, this disease affected all new world populations, mostly without intentional European transmission, from contact in the early 16th century to until possibly as late as the French and Indian Wars — In another group of Spanish arrived in Mexico from Hispaniolabringing with them the smallpox which had already been ravaging that island for two years. Outnumbered, the Spanish were forced to flee.

An introduction to the history of smallpox

Etymology[ edit ] The term inoculation entered medical An introduction to the history of smallpox through horticultural usage meaning to graft a bud or eye from one plant into another. Variolation Inoculation originated as a method for the prevention of smallpox by deliberate introduction of material from smallpox pustules into the skin.

An introduction to the history of smallpox

This generally produced a less severe infection than naturally-acquired smallpox, but still induced immunity to it. This first method for smallpox prevention, smallpox inoculation, is now also known as variolation.

Inoculation has ancient origins and the technique was known in India and China.

Smallpox | Definition, History, Vaccine, & Facts | vetconnexx.com

Inoculation was reportedly not widely practised in China until the reign of the Longqing Emperor r. Variola minor[ citation needed ]. This was called "to implant the sprouts", an idea of transplanting the disease which fit their conception of beansprouts in germination.

Method of storing the material. Wrap the scabs carefully in paper and put them into a small container bottle. Cork it tightly so that the activity is not dissipated. The container must not be exposed to sunlight or warmed beside a fire.

It is best to carry it for some time on the person so that the scabs dry naturally and slowly. The container should be marked clearly with the date on which the contents were taken from the patient.

An introduction to the history of smallpox

In winter, the material has yang potency within it, so it remains active even after being kept from thirty to forty days. But in summer the yang potency will be lost in approximately twenty days. The best material is that which had not been left too long, for when the yang potency is abundant it will give a 'take' with nine persons out of ten people—and finally it becomes completely inactive, and will not work at all.

In situations where new scabs are rare and the requirement great, it is possible to mix new scabs with the more aged ones, but in this case more of the powder should be blown into the nostril when the inoculation is done.

But no action was taken. The Circassian women have, from time immemorial, communicated the small-pox to their children when not above six months old by making an incision in the arm, and by putting into this incision a pustule, taken carefully from the body of another child. This pustule produces the same effect in the arm it is laid in as yeast in a piece of dough; it ferments, and diffuses through the whole mass of blood the qualities with which it is impregnated.

The pustules of the child in whom the artificial small-pox has been thus inoculated are employed to communicate the same distemper to others. There is an almost perpetual circulation of it in Circassia; and when unhappily the small-pox has quite left the country, the inhabitants of it are in as great trouble and perplexity as other nations when their harvest has fallen short The Circassians are poor, and their daughters are beautiful, and indeed, it is in them they chiefly trade.

They furnish with beauties the seraglios of the Turkish Sultan, of the Persian Sophy, and of all those who are wealthy enough to purchase and maintain such precious merchandise.

The Turkish practice was presented to the Royal Society in andwhen the physicians Emanuel Timoni [7] and Giacomo Pylarini independently sent letters from Constantinople. They lay it down as a principle, that the immediate cause of the smallpox exists in the mortal part of every human and animal form; that the mediate or second acting cause, which stirs up the first, and throws it into a state of fermentation, is multitudes of imperceptible animalculae floating in the atmosphere; that these are the cause of all epidemical diseases, but more particularly of the small pox.

However, such a theory has not yet been discovered in any Sanskrit or vernacular treatise. Other parts of Holwell's account, especially his use of the idea of "immediate" and "mediate" causation, and the concept of "fermentation," suggest that these notions may not necessarily be entirely of Indian origin but may also be influenced by contemporary developments in microbiology.

Several historians have suggested that variolation may be older than the eighteenth century in India, [12] but historical evidence for this assertion is lacking. The widespread rumour since the nineteenth century that vaccination was documented in India before the discoveries of Edward Jenner can all be traced to propaganda tracts written in Sanskrit and the Indian vernaculars by colonial officers, in the pious hope of convincing Indians to accept the newly discovered Jennerian procedure.

Yet no Sanskrit or vernacular Indian sources yet discovered mention the practice. Some details of the practice described by Holwell such as sniffing suggest Chinese practice.

The first European to report this was Nathaniel Pearce, who noted inthat it was performed by a debtera who would collect "a quantity of matter" from a person with the most sores from smallpox, then he "cuts a small cross with a razor in the arm" of his subject and put "a little of the matter" into the cut which was afterwards bound up with a bandage.

Subsequent visitors who described this practice included W.

Origin of Smallpox

Petit of the French scientific mission of — A slave named Onesimus explained the inoculation procedure to Cotton Mather during the 18th century; he reported to have gotten the knowledge from Africa.

She witnessed firsthand the Turkish use of inoculation in Istanbul[19] and was greatly impressed:What effect did the introduction of smallpox have in the Americas?

A. It contributed to the defeat of American Indians. B. It led to large numbers of deaths among European colonists in the Americas/5(44).

History Society Articles

Native Americans and The Smallpox Epidemic Native American Beliefs and Medical Treatments During the Smallpox Epidemics: an Evolution by Melissa Sue Halverson One important cause of Native American depopulation during European contact was epidemic disease.

Edward Jenner and the history of smallpox and vaccination. Stefan Riedel, MD, PhD 1 (Figure2 2) that was responsible for the introduction of variolation in England. In , Lady Montague suffered from an episode of smallpox, which severely disfigured her beautiful face.

Her year-old brother died of the illness 18 months later. Smallpox: Smallpox, History. The history of smallpox is uncertain.

doctors do more than let smallpox take its course before the general introduction of vaccines. The plague, chiefly an urban disease that was deadliest in summer and dreaded as a sentence of death, could be combated only by measures of quarantine such as those enforced.

The Spread and Eradication of Smallpox | Smallpox | CDC

Introduction to Vaccine History and Edward Jenner. If we take a closer look at the history of vaccination we shall see that from the outset our vaccine legend appears to have been based on some historical manoeuvring designed to gloss over some inconvenient truths.

Smallpox: Smallpox, History. The history of smallpox is uncertain. doctors do more than let smallpox take its course before the general introduction of vaccines. The plague, chiefly an urban disease that was deadliest in summer and dreaded as a sentence of death, could be combated only by measures of quarantine such as those enforced. Smallpox I. Introduction In , the Aztec Empire included about 30 million people. By , the estimates are that only 3 million people remained in the area covered by the Aztec Empire. Native Americans and The Smallpox Epidemic Native American Beliefs and Medical Treatments During the Smallpox Epidemics: an Evolution by Melissa Sue Halverson One important cause of Native American depopulation during European contact was epidemic disease.

The history of smallpox holds a unique place in human health and medicine. One of the deadliest diseases known to humans, smallpox is also the only human disease to .

The Spread and Eradication of Smallpox | Smallpox | CDC