History of Smallpox and Scientific Methods of Dr. Edward Jennings

Topics: Smallpox, Vaccination, Edward Jenner Pages: 3 (801 words) Published: November 20, 2010
Biology Research

History of Smallpox and Scientific Methods of Dr. Edward Jennings

Name: Wael Aboul Hosn Date: Tuesday, October 4, 2010 Grade : 10 ADP


The origin of smallpox as a natural disease is lost in prehistory. It is believed to have appeared around 10,000 BC, at the time of the first agricultural settlements in northeastern Africa. It seems credible that it spread from there to India by means of ancient Egyptian merchants. The earliest evidence of skin lesions (An injury to living tissue usually on the skin) resembling those of smallpox is found on faces of mummies from the time of the 18th and 20th Egyptian Dynasties (1570–1085 BC). The mummified head of the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses V bears evidence of the disease. At the same time, smallpox has been reported in ancient Asian cultures: smallpox was described as early as 1122 BC in China and is mentioned in ancient Sanskrit (an ancient language of India) texts of India. Smallpox was introduced to Europe sometime between the fifth and seventh centuries and was frequently epidemic during the Middle Ages. The disease greatly affected the development of Western civilization. The first stages of the decline of the Roman Empire (AD 108) coincided with a large outbreak: the plague of Antonine, which reported for the deaths of almost 7 million people. Unknown in the New World, smallpox was introduced by the Spanish and Portuguese explorers. The disease killed in large numbers the local population and was the fall of the empires of the Aztecs and the Incas. Similarly, on the eastern coast of North America, the disease was introduced by the early settlers and led to a decline in the native population. The devastating effects of smallpox also gave rise to one of the first examples of biological warfare. During the French-Indian War (1754–1767), Sir Jeffrey Amherst, the commander of the British forces in North America, suggested the considered the use of...
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