Sumary of Tales From The Vaccine Vault: 30 Facts About Smallpox And The Coronavirus:
- FPG/Hulton Archive/Getty Images These facts offer more than just a walk down memory lane for anyone old enough to remember smallpox terror..
- Even though it was eradicated well before the 20th century was over, it killed roughly 500 million people in that century alone..
- A common fear people have about vaccines is that they can cause the very sicknesses they are supposed to prevent..
- Back then, most people in the rural parts of the country knew that touching the open pustules on sick cows often created minor outbreaks of pustules on the hands of milkmaids..
- For decades, doctors around the world had been successfully inoculating perfectly healthy people with tiny bits of smallpox pus taken from the open sores on sick people..
- George Washington had his whole army roll up their sleeves for the lancet that would bring material from other people wet sores directly to their arms..
- Even so, sometimes people died — either from a full-blown case of smallpox (this happened .5% – 2% of the time), or as a result of other germs like syphilis that hitched rides on the lancets..
- But it was hard to keep the pus fresh, so he started a routine of bringing the cows themselves door to door to vaccinate people….