Who Should Given the Credit for Defeating Smallpox?
Essay title: Who Should Given the Credit for Defeating Smallpox?
Even though Edward Jenner was the only man to discover how to prevent the disease of cowpox, does he deserve all the credit? And if not who else helped in eradicating this terrible disease?
First of all by the middle ages there was a way of preventing smallpox called ‘variolation’ in which involved introducing pus, or scabs, from an infected person to a healthy one. This originated in China and India. This process was to blow powdered scabs up a person’s nose or putting a small amount of pus into a cut on a healthy person. This was to give the person a small dose of the disease building their immune system against the full form of the disease. Of course in the Middle Ages no one knew about immune systems.
The news had travelled over to Britain by word of mouth and became popular quickly. But the method had its share of problems, give too much of the puss and the person would of developed the full form of the disease. But on the other hand it was less risky than smallpox itself.
Then there was Edward Jenner, a Gloucestershire doctor who had observed that milkmaids who caught cowpox (a non-fatal disease) from cows didn’t catch smallpox. Jenner decided to investigate this intriguing matter.
So in 1996 Jenner took some cow pox pus form a milkmaid called Sarah Nelmes and scraped it into a cut in the arm of an eight year old boy called