Smallpox Disease In Human History

627 Words 3 Pages
Among numerous diseases that has changed the course of human history smallpox is considered to be an undeniable standout. As noted by Belongia and Naleway (2003), this disease has been “…scourge against humanity for at least the past 1500 years”. Since it has been decimating communities across the globe for more than one and a half of millennium, the virus’ footprint may be called significant. From today’s point of observation, the highlight in the history of smallpox is the period around the time when the smallpox vaccine was discovered in the 18th century and onwards to the point of its eradication. In this essay, I am going to discuss the social and economic effects of the disease in the mentioned time frame.
The history of smallpox eradication begins in the 18th century, when the Western community (Europe and North America) was first introduced to the method of inoculation. It required physicians to expose susceptible individuals to some material from smallpox lesions and turned out to provide immunity. However, the procedure bore controversy: it did generate immunity in most cases but also killed some of the testers and contributed to the disease outbreaks (1). One such outbreak of 1782, as per Fenn, Elizabeth A., History Today (The Great Smallpox Epidemic) (2), is estimated to have reduced the population of present-day Washington by a third
…show more content…
On the one hand, it had been taking human lives centuries before a cure was found and was a nightmare in the time of American colorizations and industrial revolutions in the 18th-20th. One the other hand, though, it is due to smallpox that vaccination was discovered and the way to eradication of this disease was paved. In this day and age, when biological weapon is a credible concern (4), the case of smallpox as a disease fully combated is still a subject of scientific interest for specialists around the

Related Documents