English III – Period 1
The Eradication of Smallpox
Thesis: Throughout millennia, smallpox has
proliferated in human populations and has decimated billions of human beings. The
history of smallpox changed course in the late modern history through the improvements
and innovations in vaccinations, leading to the eventual eradication of the
Smallpox emerged thousands of years ago
and began its propagation across the world.
first smallpox-infected human contracted the virus from an animal.
are strong indications that smallpox manifested in one of the first ancient
cities or river valley civilizations due to their elevated population
traveled alongside humans through trade, exploration, and conquest.
Endeavors to vaccinate for and attain
immunity to smallpox began in the classical age but achieved very limited
success until the 18th century.
practice of intentionally infecting, or inoculating, in order to provide resistance
to the disease began as early as the 5th century BCE.
gained popularity throughout Europe following the vaccination of royalty.
medical advancements were made by Edward Jenner with his use of cowpox.
In contemporary history, international programs
have been conducted to eradicate smallpox completely.
efforts to exterminate the virus began in the mid 1950s.
number of countries reporting smallpox steadily diminished until the annual
count of smallpox infections reached zero in the 1980s.
is not yet fully extinct as there are two known contained samples of smallpox
remaining in the world.
William H. “Stamping out Smallpox: cooperation, resources, and a venerable
vaccine combined for a landmark success.” Natural History, Sept. 2017, p. 24+. Academic OneFile. Accessed 15 Jan. 2018.
Office of Communication, Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. “CDC Media Statement on Newly Discovered Smallpox Specimens.” CDC
Newsroom, Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, 8 July 2014. Accessed 22 Jan. 2018.
Richard. The Demon In The Freezer: A True
Story. The Random House Publishing Group, 2002.
Stefan. “Edward Jenner and the history of smallpox and vaccination.” Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings,
vol. 18, no. 1, 2005, p. 21+. Academic
OneFile. Accessed 29 Jan. 2018.