"The Great Dying”-Smallpox
Taco24 on 03/10/2008
|This is the second of my history of disease quizzes.|
The Great Dying, aka Smallpox, ranks as one of the greatest demographic disasters of all time. Smallpox is the largest of all the viruses. The virus became a parasite thousands of years ago in the Middle East. It first appeared in Europe before the tenth century. A new strain developed which made the disease even more deadly. The symptoms included fever and chills, produced fleshy circles of pus, and swelled hands and faces. A rash followed which progressed to raised bumps that eventually scarred, and then fell off. The thick pustules left scars. The disease hammered away at the internal organs also. Survivors of this horror often went partially blind, bore ugly pock-marks and carried lifetime immunity.
The legacy of this disease upon American history is legendary. To this day, no one knows exactly how many Native Americans perished during the various outbreaks of smallpox. What we do know is that this legacy continues to this day. This quiz asks questions on the nature, treatment, and results of the smallpox pandemic.
* “I hope that some day the practice of producing cowpox in human beings will spread over the world - when that day comes, there will be no more smallpox”-Edward Jenner
Sources: Edward Jenner and the history of smallpox and vaccination- http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1200696
Eradicating the Scourge-BBC History- http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/smallpox_01.shtml
“The Fourth Horseman” by Andrew Nikiforuk
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