Smallpox Around the World

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Smallpox, a very deadly and contagious disease, threatened a majority of populations all around the world. This disease has been around for hundreds of thousands of even in the B.C.s. Smallpox was feared by the places it threatened. These people wanted and needed some way to protect themselves from the virus that scared them. Smallpox has had a huge impact on several civilizations until treatments like inoculation and vaccinations were practiced.

Variola, the scientific name for the virus that causes smallpox, has made itself a part of history around the world (Marrin 15). Smallpox, also known as the speckled monster, assisted a Spanish conqueror. Hernan Cortes tried to conquer a great Aztec city and had to retreat the first time. While Cortes and his men were reorganizing, the Aztecs got the speckled monster and became disorganized. Ultimately, the army of Cortes defeated the Aztecs with the help of an invisible friend (Jeanette 29). Variola also helped Francisco Pizarro overthrow the Inca Empire in Peru in 1533. The Inca ruler and 250,000 of his subjects died of the disease (Marrin 28). Queen Elizabeth I of England got smallpox and survived in1562. She was twenty-nine and the doctors used the ‘draw out’ treatment but the disease left her nearly bald with no eyelashes and her face covered in pits. As a result, variola left Queen Elizabeth I wearing a wig and heavy make-up for forty-one years until she died at the age of seventy (Marrin 25). Lady Mary Montagu from Turkey promoted smallpox inoculations by persuading Princess Caroline of England to do all these inoculation tests on other people and then having her three daughters inoculated (Jeanette 20-21).

Smallpox has had many effects on civilizations around th...

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...tually, cowpox inoculation was named vaccination after ‘vacca’ meaning cow (Jeanette 34).

Therefore, smallpox was dreaded all around the world until preventions came along like inoculation and vaccination. Without inoculation, there would still be several epidemics now. If Jenner didn’t figure out that cowpox could be used as a prevention, most of us probably wouldn’t be alive today.

Works Cited
Fenn, Eliabeth A. Pox Americana :the Great Smallpox Epidemic Of 1775-82. New York: Hill

and Wang, 2001.

Jeanette, Farrell. Invisible Enemies: stories Of Infectious Disease. New York: Library of

Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data, 1998.

Marrin, Albert. Dr. Jenner and the Speckled Monster: The Search for the Smallpox Vaccine. New York: Dutton Children's Books, 2002.

Preston, Richard. The Demon in the Freezer. New York: The Random House Publishing Group, 2002.

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