Smallpox The disease that changed everything

Diseases, such as smallpox, wiped out millions and changed the history of diseases forever!

Smallpox is caused by the virus Variola major, which is a member of the orthopoxvirus. It is spread by inhaling saliva or mucus droplets from someone who is infected.

It's been known for thousands of years. In fact, smallpox was described starting at 1122 B.C.

It was first discovered in China written in the ancient Sanskrit texts.

Was found on the mummified head of the Egyptian pharaoh, Ramses V.

After seven to seventeen days, flulike symptoms begin. These symptoms include a high fever, body aches, and fatigue. Within a few days after, a rash develops that has pus-filled blisters. Then, by the second week the blisters turn to scabs and fall of revealing scars.

A vaccine was created in 1796 by Edward Jenner. Less than 200 years later, the disease became nonexistent because of a vaccination campaign for smallpox.

Even though the practice of immunizations and remedies have been around for hundreds of years, Edward Jenner created one of the first vaccines. He treated a thirteen-year-old with smallpox by inserting pis from a cowpox bump into the patient. Edward Jenner discovered that milk maids with cowpox would develop and immunity to smallpox. In 1798, he published his findings and helped the history of vaccines. But, the Europeans had an immunity when they came to North America. The Native Americans that came in contact with the Native Americans were lacking the immunity because these diseases had never been in the Western Hemisphere before.

I hope that some day the practice of producing cowpox in human beings will spread over the world - when that day comes, there will be no more smallpox. —Edward Jenner

When the Europeans came to North America, they brought many things such as new technology and diseases. Over twenty-million people died, which was nearly 95% of the population in the Americas. Many of the people who were living in the Americas became ill. The Europeans had an immunity, so they benefitted the situation. Immediately after the Europeans step foot in North America, the history of diseases forever changed around that moment.

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