Tragically, smallpox was an extremely dangerous and deadly disease. What was it? What were its effects? How was it cured? These are topics worth investigating. Smallpox was very deadly.

Frighteningly, smallpox was a major cause of death. It was caused by Variola major and minor viruses. According to research, the disease originated approximately 10,000 B.C. as a rodent-borne illness. During the 20th century, smallpox was responsible for about 300-500 million deaths. Rashes developed over a period of the maximum of forty-eight hours and left permanent scars. An attempt of prevention was performed by the World Health Organization (WHO). Thanks to them, smallpox was entirely eradicated and we need not have any fears of catching it. It had been a truly terrible disease.

Smallpox preyed on the rich and poor alike and was used in biological warfare. In the French and Indian War, two blankets and a handkerchief were used to spread smallpox among the Indians. Interestingly, several well-known people at different times received the disease and recovered from it, including: Mozart, Beethoven, George Washington, Andrew Jackson, and Abraham Lincoln. Smallpox struck random people and proved deadly if used in warfare.

Smallpox was curable. According to scientists, traces of cures date back to 1,000 B.C. When the sickness was received long ago, it was rendered practically incurable. During the 16th century, however, the cure was disclosed and widely used in China. In 1796, Edward Jenner, an English doctor, discovered a formula that would produce immunity, or at least a cure, to smallpox by using cowpox lesions. To activate this immunity, a pronged needle is dipped into the cowpox antibodies and then inserted into the patient’s arm repeatedly to produce what is known as the Jennerian vesicle. After a while, the vesicle will swell with pus which will eventually drain out leaving a small scar. Approximately 95% of the victims of the pox can be treated thus with vaccines made from antibodies of monkey pox, cowpox, and smallpox. Allergies to these vaccines can cause non-life-threatening side effects. Treatment had to have been performed within the first three days of catching the disease or the results would be permanent. However, there is no longer fear of catching the disease since it has been eradicated. The cures to smallpox lead us to hope that no one will be harmed by its fatal effects again.

The pox is life-threatening no more. Most importantly, vaccines helped eliminate the disease. Smallpox is no longer dangerous since its eradication.