The Eradication of Smallpox: Edward Jenner and The First and Only Eradication of a Human Infectious Disease by Herv BazinThe Eradication of Smallpox: Edward Jenner and The First and Only Eradication of a Human Infectious Disease by Herv Bazin

The Eradication of Smallpox: Edward Jenner and The First and Only Eradication of a Human Infectious…

byHerv BazinEditorHervé Bazin


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Simply, and with great humanity,The Eradication of Smallpoxtells the story of smallpox - it's origins, the horror of the disease, and the millions of people killed or disfigured by it. During the 18th and 19th centuries, it is estimated that one out of every ten people died from the disease; some say one out of every seven. Smallpox attacked very young children in particular.

The story progresses with the practice of variolation, the life of Edward Jenner who first proposed 'vaccination' with cow pox vaccine (little James Phipps was the first person ever vaccinated in this way), the years of debate about the efficacy of this novel method, and the later worldwide initiatives to rid the planet of this horrific disease. In 1979, the story culminates in the only total eradication of an infectious disease that mankind has ever accomplished. This year celebrates the 20th anniversary of this momentous achievement.

In the intervening years, debate has raged about what we should do with the remaining smallpox viral stocks. Do we destroy them, so they can't fall into the hands of bioterrorists, or do we maintain them, in case they may be of use in some unexpected way, for therapeutic purposes? These questions are thoroughly discussed in the book.

  • Covers the background, history and origin of smallpox, and brings the story up to the present day
  • Gives full and interesting details of Jenner's life, and tells how this humble country doctor brought about a revolution in vaccination
  • Includes many quotes from historical figures
  • Features 120 high quality photographs, many originating from unique historical plates in the author's private collection
  • Includes new research data
  • Provides new views on the eradication and destruction of smallpox
Hervé Bazin is Professeur Extraordinaire at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Louvain, Belgium.
Title:The Eradication of Smallpox: Edward Jenner and The First and Only Eradication of a Human Infectious…Format:HardcoverDimensions:246 pages, 9.25 × 6 × 0.98 inPublisher:Academic Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0120834758

ISBN - 13:9780120834754

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from A pleasant read More a biography and canonization of Edward Jenner than a comprehensive examination of the eradication of smallpox, _The Eradication of Smallpox; Edward Jenner and The First and Only Eradication of a Human Infectious Disease_ is, nevertheless, a useful text and a pleasant read. While Herve Bazin does apply necessary attention to the various factors that lent themselves to the development of a smallpox vaccine and the eventual elimination of the disease from humanity, the book places heavy emphasis on the contribution of Edward Jenner to the process. There can be no doubt that Jenner’s contribution was significant and should in no way be dismissed. In this regard _The Eradication of Smallpox_ is a thorough examination of his life and influence. The work by other’s to achieve the only instance of the complete eradication of a human infectious disease could have been treated more fully. _The Eradication of Smallpox_ is worth picking up if only for its discussion of Jenner’s life, an important component of the history of smallpox. A more complete study of smallpox, however, would require further reading.
Date published: 2000-12-18

Table of Contents

For those who have forgotten or never knew what smallpox was like:
On the long struggle of man, before Jenner, to fight smallpox.
The life and work of Jenner:
The young Jenner (1749-1772).
Jenner, naturalist and country surgeon.
The myth becomes reality (1795-1798).
Jenner's hard-won victory in England, his own country.
The particular case of Napoleonic France.
Vaccination spreads across Europe and the United States and then throughout the rest of the world.
Honours and resentment for Jenner (1801-1823).
The perfect ending to the story: the eradication of smallpox:
Post-Jennerian vaccination (1823-1979).
Smallpox vaccination: its value and its limitations.
The anti-vaccination movements (1798-1979).
The eradication of smallpox: Jenner's posthumous triumph.
Jenner, vaccination and ethics (1796 to the present day).
What should be done about the smallpox virus?
Some comments on current immunity to smallpox.

Editorial Reviews

"copious illustrations are of considerable interest. ...Historians of medicine and public health may want to add it to their collections."
-Warren Winkelstein, Jr. for BULL. HIST. MED.(2002