Please describe your experience with smallpox.
Please describe your experience with smallpox vaccine.
Epidemic. Armies and cities under siege were ideal breeding grounds for diseases of all sorts. In 1776 was struck with a smallpox epidemic directly related to the Revolutionary War. British troops had just evacuated Boston after a ten-month siege, leaving an outbreak of smallpox behind them (Americans accused them of deliberately spreading the disease). At nearly the same time some New England soldiers returning from the failed expedition brought smallpox back with them: of the eight thousand men who marched to Canada, two thousand fell ill with the disease. George Washington knew from firsthand experience what smallpox could do. Fearing an outbreak that would cripple his main army, he ordered a general inoculation for his troops and made the procedure available to civilians as well. The experiment-by-necessity was a resounding success; physician Benjamin Gale compiled statistics from Boston to show that only one person out of one hundred inoculated dieda great improvement over Mathers 3 percent a half century before. One might think that the benefits of inoculation could no longer be doubted, but that would be to underestimate conservative resistance to the procedure. New York still outlawed the practice, so Washington was forced to suspend inoculation while his army operated there and even to threaten punishment for any soldier or officer undergoing the procedure. As a result smallpox outbreaks continued throughout the war.
What were your symptoms of smallpox?
The overall case-fatality rate for ordinary-type smallpox is about 30 percent, but varies by pock distribution: ordinary type-confluent is fatal about 50–75 percent of the time, ordinary-type semi-confluent about 25–50 percent of the time, in cases where the rash is discrete the case-fatality rate is less than 10 percent. The overall fatality rate for children younger than 1 year of age is 40–50 percent. Hemorrhagic and flat types have the highest fatality rates. The fatality rate for flat-type is 90 percent or greater and nearly 100 percent is observed in cases of hemorrhagic smallpox. The case-fatality rate for variola minor is 1 percent or less.