Vaccination prevents Smallpox
PRIOR to the eighteenth century smallpox was one of the most prevalent and most dreaded of all diseases. Only about five persons out of a hundred escaped smallpox and one-fourth of those who contracted the disease died. Those who recovered from smallpox usually were disfigured for life. Following Jenner's epochal discovery of vaccination in 1796 the incidence of smallpox took a sharp drop, and, today, because of vaccination, most people have never seen a case of smallpox.
IN THOSE countries where vaccination is required by law, smallpox has become a rare disease. States with compulsory vaccination laws have practically no smallpox. On the other hand, states that do not require vaccination have so many cases that the United States as a whole has more smallpox than any other country of the world, except India. Smallpox has been constantly present in Florida because vaccination is not required by law.
How do people contract Smallpox?
SMALLPOX is contracted by coming in contact with a person who is sick with the disease. The disease is spread mainly by direct personal contact. The infection probably enters the body through the respiratory tract. The secretions from the mouth and nose contain the virus (germ) as do the skin lesions.
Who is most likely to catch Smallpox?
SMALLPOX is one of the most readily communicable of all diseases. In this regard it ranks with measles and influenza. Smallpox is a disease to which everyone is susceptible. There is no such thing as inherited immunity against smallpox. Young and old, rich and poor, clean and unclean are attacked alike. Smallpox occurs by actual contact with a case and spreads in an unvaccinated community.