JAN 01, 2018 05:05 PM PST

A Brief History of Smallpox

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Smallpox was the first major disease to be eradicated, but not before we had a minor outbreak in New York City. Luckily, only a few people were infected. Prior to that, smallpox had a long history of sickening and killing people. Those who were lucky enough to survive it were usually left with very serious scarring. The disease taught scientists a lot about how immunity worked, however. Edward Jenner created the first successful smallpox vaccine. You can hear more about how from the video.

When the outbreak occurred in New York City, public health officials realized that a significant portion of the population had to be vaccinated in order to keep it from getting worse. They had to generate over one million vaccine doses in only a few days and more quickly followed. A strategy was used then and has been since in which people are primarily vaccinated after an outbreak happens and so far, it has been effective.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
NOV 17, 2019
Videos
NOV 17, 2019
The Difference Between Marijuana and Hemp
What's the difference between Marijuana and Hemp? Watch the video below to find out exactly how they differ. Both hemp and marijuana belong to the same...
NOV 17, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 17, 2019
Here's Why NASA Wants to Crash a Spacecraft Into an Asteroid
Yes, you read that right; NASA would like to slam a purposefully built spacecraft into the surface of an asteroid. While this idea might seem like a substa...
NOV 17, 2019
Earth & The Environment
NOV 17, 2019
Yale Scientists Solve Mass Extinction Mystery
Scientists from Yale University have solved a mystery that has plagued scientists for decades. It’s well established that 66 million years ago, a mas...
NOV 17, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 17, 2019
What Makes Lions Such Incredible Predators?
Lions sport a reputation as one of nature’s fiercest beasts, but have you ever wondered what makes them such renowned predators? These large cats are...
NOV 17, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 17, 2019
Polar Bears Feast On Anything They Find, Even Rotting Whales
Polar bears are expert survivalists. Their noses are many times more powerful than a dog’s, and they can sniff out a potential meal from several mile...
NOV 17, 2019
Earth & The Environment
NOV 17, 2019
"Sea-thru" Algorithm Clarifies Underwater Photos
Have you ever tried to take photographs underwater, only to be sorely disappointed by the results? Pictures of vivid underwater scenery usually appear very...
Loading Comments...