The history of smallpox extends into pre-history; the disease likely emerged in human populations about 10,000 BC. The earliest credible evidence of smallpox is found in the Egyptian mummies of people who died some 3000 years ago. During the 18th century the disease killed an estimated 400,000 Europeans each year, including five reigning monarchs, and was responsible for a third of all blindness. Between 20 and 60% of all those infected—and over 80% of infected children—died from the disease.
During the 20th century, it is estimated that smallpox was responsible for 300–500 million deaths. In the early 1950s an estimated 50 million cases of smallpox occurred in the world each year. As recently as 1967, the World Health Organization estimated that 15 million people contracted the disease and that two million died in that year. After successful vaccination campaigns throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the WHO certified the eradication of smallpox in December 1979. To this day, smallpox is the only human infectious disease to have been completely eradicated.
Other articles related to "history of smallpox, smallpox":
... Benjamin Franklin, who had lost his own son to smallpox in 1736, made the suggestion to create a pamphlet to distribute to families explaining how to inoculate their children themselves, so ... person, instead of using matter from the sore of a smallpox victim, a procedure that Maitland had been using since 1722 ...
Famous quotes containing the words history of, smallpox and/or history:
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