By Gareth Williams
The tale of the increase and fall of smallpox, probably the most savage killers within the background of mankind, and the single affliction ever to be effectively exterminated (30 years in the past subsequent yr) by means of a public well-being crusade. Proceeds from the sale of this e-book will to to help the Edward Jenner Museum in Berkeley, united kingdom (visit www.jennermuseum.com).
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Extra info for Angel of Death: The Story of Smallpox
This was repeated as necessary, sometimes until the patient fainted or could not stand. For the smallpox sufferer, the first prodromal symptoms of fever, headache and vomiting would summon the doctor with his lancet and/or jar of hungry leeches. Once a bad eruption had blown up, leeches were harder to use because there was so little normal skin for them to get their teeth into. 21 Bleeding was bizarre, pointless and potentially dangerous but trusted by patients and doctors alike. 2 Medicinal leech, used for therapeutic bleeding and the treatment of smallpox up to the end of the nineteenth century.
Von Petterkofer certainly rose to the challenge: he drank the lot in front of his students and then delighted in reporting back to Koch that his microbial theory of cholera was complete rubbish. However, von Pettenkofer omitted to mention that he had already had cholera, which evidently provided enough immunity to prevent Koch’s brew from killing him. His victory was short-lived. More bacteria fell victim to Pasteur, Koch and their allies and the realisation that miasma theory was doomed finally caught up with von Pettenkofer in early February 1901.
It could be mistaken for chickenpox, measles, syphilis (nicknamed the ‘Great Deceiver’ because it mimicked so many other skin diseases) and other rarer eruptions. 45 Some of these missed cases were not isolated quickly enough and went on to cause fatal outbreaks. 46 Classically, smallpox was least dense on the trunk, favoured the backs rather than the fronts of the hands and arms, went through the same stage simultaneously across the whole body and was accompanied by severe general symptoms. According to the books, chickenpox did none of these things, but in real life, atypical cases of both diseases were not unusual.
Angel of Death: The Story of Smallpox by Gareth Williams