Course Reader- NOTES

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Published on 16 Dec 2010
Smallpox (variola) no longer is an active infection
Virus exists only in labs
It was an acute disease usually transmitted by airborne droplets n entering the body thru
the upper respiratory tract
Never acute, but during its last decades of existence antibiotics were often prescribed to
prevent or limit secondary infections
Smallpox appears to have been an exclusively human infection
Variola major, with a mortality rate commonly of 25 to 30%
Variola minor, with mild symptoms n a death rate of 1% or less
oWorst is variola major
Etiology and Epidemiology
Source of smallpox was always a human being wid the infection
Virus cud survive in scabs 4 considerable periods, n laundry workers on occasion
contracted the disease from clothing n bedding of smallpox patients, but most
transmissions were airborne n occurred over distances of no more than a few meters
Clinical Manifestations and Pathology
Incubation period was abt 12 days
Onset was abrupt n prostrating: high fever, headache, n pain in the back n muscles; n in
children, sumtimes vomiting n convulsions
oIn severe cases: death cud occur
Patients survive to experience the characteristic rash 2 to 5 days after onset
Among the possible sequelae were blindness n, at least occasionally, male infertility
Probable sequel was a pocked n scarred face, appalling to others as well as to the survivor
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Smallpox infection ended in one of only two ways: death or long-lasting immunity
Smallpox existed only as an active infection
Smallpox cudn’t have existed wid its historical characteristics among the sparse
populations of the Paleolithic Age
Nine Through Fifteenth Century
It was a common childhood disease in southwest Asia in Rhazes (a Baghdad physician)
Sixteenth Through Seventeenth Century
Spread from one country to another..became more popular since now found in few more
Eighteenth Century
It destroyed half the indigenes, by English estimates, and spread over the Blue Mountains
into the interior
Smallpox accounted 10-15% of all deaths in sum European countries annually by this
time, 80% of these victims were under age of 10
The artificial infection wid smallpox of healthy ppl
Variolation was practiced for a long time, not by formally trained physicians, but by fold
English variolator n scientist, Edward Jenner, noticed that the variolation failed to
produce symptoms of illness in ppl who had previously contracted a mild pox disease
from livestock, usually cattle
He vaccinated several ppl, with cowpox matter, n then attempted variolation
Nineteenth Century
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Vaccination continued to spread, n in sum countries was even made compulsory, at least
for infants
Twentieth Century
October 1975, last case of smallpox (variola major) in Asia
October 1977, the rash of variola minor appeared on the skin of sum1 in was
the last case of this kind of smallpox n the last case of naturally occurring smallpox in the
Humanity won the victory against the smallpox virus by displacing it wid the vaccine
Diseases of the Renaissance and Early Modern Europe
The Renaissance in European history was a time of political, intellectual, and cultural
change that its origins in Italy during the 14th century
Literati began to look to classical Greece n Rome for models of human political
behaviour n stylistic models of discourse n artistic representation
Humanistic quest involved the energies of philosophers n artists throughout the 15th, 16th,
and 17th centuries
We r inclined to associate the issue of Renaissance diseases wid both the growth of cities
n the age of European discovery
The period also frames the era of recurrent epidemics of bubonic plague in Europe
Population growth in Europe was steady during the central, or “High,” Middle Ages but
did not lead to the growth of large metropolitan centres
Urbanization was earliest n most dramatic in the Mediterranean lands, where city cultures
had also been the basis of ancient Roman hegemony
Outside the urban Mediterranean, the period or Renaissance is better labelled the late
Middle Ages
The “Black Death” epidemic of bubonic plague in 1348-50 caused up to 40% overall
mortality in large cities, n as much as 60% mortality in smaller Italian cities such as Siena
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