History 1810E Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Cowpox, Smallpox

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21 Jul 2016
Department
The New World
1880’s Canada didn’t have large urban areas (only Montreal and Toronto)
No city has more than 50,000
Two Montréals
Montreal small pox epidemic
Montreal 1885 – thriving city, wealthy and prosperous (most in Canada)
Difference was in the ethnicity – English Montreal and French Montreal (2 of
them) 60% population was of French origins
Power and influence rest within the English minority (economy)
Hugh Allen – richest men in the British empire
Was a beautiful place to go to during winter (if you were wealthy)
BMO most powerful bank in Canada at the time
Winter is different in the other part of Montreal (industrial slums)
Where workers lived and died
Noisy, dirty, crowded, impoverished…
Working families lived in a single room (born and died)
The Outbreak
Thomas Roger (doctor)
About to leave his house when he gets a call from the railway station, doctor
on call for the grand trunk trains
Informed the express train arrived from Chicago and a conductor is ill
The man had fever and chills and he has red dots all over hi body (small pox)
– start of an epidemic disease
Small pox is very deadly
If you survive that long you may be blinded marked skin
Very contagious (spread easily and rapidly)
Death rate is 1/3
If you had a mild case of small pox you became immune to it
Risky procedure – deliberately infecting someone
Realized that women who worked with cows were immune to the disease
If you were exposed to “cow pox” you were immune to small pox
Dr.Roger has diagnosed his patient and moved him to a hospital (Hotel Dieu
Hospital)
Ordered for everything in the train to be changed/burned
Another case of small pox in the city
Didn’t end up having a quarantine (no further cases for a few weeks)
The Spread
Realized things were becoming dangerous (many cases reported)
Had to discharge patient from the hospital to make room for more patients
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