THE LIFE AND DEATH OF SMALLPOX
By Ian & Jennifer Glynn
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No other disease has had such a long, dramatic and terrible history as smallpox. It is the first, and so far the only, infectious disease to be totally eradicated. But the scourge may well come back in biological warfare, particularly as a weapon for terrorists.
From ancient Egypt, India and China, smallpox spread around the world. It defeated armies, relieved sieges, killed emperors, played havoc with dynasties, helped establish Buddhism in Japan, and, at about the time of the Prophet Muhammed's birth, stopped Christian Abyssinians from capturing a still pagan Mecca. This book tells us that Mozart, Voltaire, England's Queen Elizabeth I, and Abraham Lincoln all had smallpox but survived the disease. But many millions did not--the scourge of smallpox affecting rich and poor alike, killing many and disfiguring the rest.
Edward Jenner's breakthrough in 1796 started the slow and often controversial process of controlling the virus...