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Andrew Kelly
Andrew Kelly

Ambulant Plague

For centuries, the white plague -- also known as tuberculosis (TB) or consumption -- was considered an ailment of the poor. The rich often escaped the embarrassment of the disease by retreating to European health spas, while the poor continued to suffer with no relief. As the Industrial Revolution brought more workers into crowded urban centers, the plague spread and no one was immune.

ambulant plague

The black death, also known as the Plague, was a pandemic that killed around 65 million people in Europe between 1347 and 1351. It is the deadliest outbreak of the bubonic plague, and is considered the first recorded outbreak of large-scale human-to-human disease.

The bubonic plague is a bacterial disease transmitted through contact with the blood, body fluids, or tissue of an infected person. The most common symptom is a fever, followed by aching muscles, headache, malaise, and swelling of the lymph nodes. Pneumonitis, a inflammation of the lungs, may also occur.

Inoculation for smallpox appears to have started in China around the 1500s.[21][22] Europe adopted this practice from Asia in the first half of the 18th century.[23] In 1796, Edward Jenner introduced the modern smallpox vaccine.[24][25] In 1967, the WHO intensified efforts to eliminate the disease.[10] Smallpox is one of two infectious diseases to have been eradicated, the other being rinderpest in 2011.[26][27] The term "smallpox" was first used in England in the 16th century to distinguish the disease from syphilis, which was then known as the "great pox".[28][29] Other historical names for the disease include pox, speckled monster, and red plague.[3][4][29]

Because variola minor was a less debilitating disease than smallpox, people were more frequently ambulant and thus able to infect others more rapidly. As such, variola minor swept through the United States, Great Britain, and South Africa in the early 20th century, becoming the dominant form of the disease in those areas and thus rapidly decreasing mortality rates. Along with variola major, the minor form has now been totally eradicated from the globe. The last case of indigenous variola minor was reported in a Somali cook, Ali Maow Maalin, in October 1977, and smallpox was officially declared eradicated worldwide in May 1980.[50] Variola minor was also called white pox, kaffir pox, Cuban itch, West Indian pox, milk pox, and pseudovariola.

By the mid-18th century, smallpox was a major endemic disease everywhere in the world except in Australia and small islands untouched by outside exploration. In 18th century Europe, smallpox was a leading cause of death, killing an estimated 400,000 Europeans each year.[103] Up to 10 percent of Swedish infants died of smallpox each year,[17] and the death rate of infants in Russia might have been even higher.[90] The widespread use of variolation in a few countries, notably Great Britain, its North American colonies, and China, somewhat reduced the impact of smallpox among the wealthy classes during the latter part of the 18th century, but a real reduction in its incidence did not occur until vaccination became a common practice toward the end of the 19th century. Improved vaccines and the practice of re-vaccination led to a substantial reduction in cases in Europe and North America, but smallpox remained almost unchecked everywhere else in the world. By the mid-20th century, variola minor occurred along with variola major, in varying proportions, in many parts of Africa. Patients with variola minor experience only a mild systemic illness, are often ambulant throughout the course of the disease, and are therefore able to more easily spread disease. Infection with variola minor virus induces immunity against the more deadly variola major form. Thus, as variola minor spread all over the US, into Canada, the South American countries, and Great Britain, it became the dominant form of smallpox, further reducing mortality rates.[3] 041b061a72


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