St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri, August 11, 1907

I thought this article was interesting for this line:

The milkmaid, accidentally vaccinated by her trade, escaped smallpox, and so gained the repute for fresh complexion..

Milkmaids, from their close proximity to cows, would commonly get cowpox at some point, and would then be immune to smallpox. The first smallpox vaccine, introduced by Edward Jenner, was brought about in this way:

In 1796, Sarah Nelmes, a local milkmaid, contracted cowpox and went to Jenner for treatment. Jenner took the opportunity to test his theory. He inoculated James Phipps, the eight-year-old son of his gardener, with material taken from the cowpox lesions on Sarah’s hand. After a mild fever and the expected local lesion James recovered after a few days. About two months later Jenner inoculated James on both arms with material from a case of smallpox, with no effect; the boy was immune to smallpox. 

Dear Anti-vaxxers,

Edward Jenner, the scientist who invented the polio vaccine and many others funded everything himself and he didn’t get a patent on it so that Scientists all over the world could produce it and give it to people. It was a horrible pandemic and what he did saved millions of lives. The fact is that civilization has grown so much and so vast that our immune systems can’t possibly adapt fast enough to new mutations and viruses. Vaccines help to speed up the process and make sure that simple influenza or scarlet fever won’t kill us. It’s science, fact, and logic. It’s undeniably important and undeniably irresponsible to not get vaccinated.
Furthermore, there have been several studies confirming that vaccines do not cause autism. People turned correlation into causation but you can do that with literally anything if you try, if you’re looking for it. For example, AIDS was called “the gay disease” because the first person that contracted it happened to be gay and he infected fellow gay men in his LGBTQ community. However we know now that AIDS has nothing to do with homosexuality beyond that because of research. As far as autism goes nobody really knows what the cause is and it doesn’t matter. There is nothing wrong with autistic people, their brains are just wired differently. It doesn’t mean they are damaged or any less valued as human beings.


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via Twitter: @karliekloss: HBD @GiGiHadid ILY 🎉


The First Vaccine — The Art of Chinese Viriolation

Smallpox was one of the worst diseases to ever afflict mankind, claiming hundreds of millions, if not billions of lives throughout all of history.  Thus, it is no wonder that the first vaccines were developed to guard against smallpox.  The first proto-vaccines were practiced in China in the 15th century, perhaps as early as the 10th century.  The Chinese method was nothing like modern vaccination methods, but was an early form of viriolation (inoculation against smallpox), a method first coined by the English physician Edward Jenner.  The early Chinese method of viriolation was to take the dried out scabs of smallpox victims.  The scabs would then be ground into a powder, then blown through a pipe into the nostrils of the patient. There was a bit of ceremony behind the act; typically viriolation was done with a decorative silver pipe, and boys were viriolated through the right nostril while girls were viriolated through the left nostril.

While the Chinese at the time had no knowledge of germ theory and little knowledge of immunology, the purpose of this was to infect the patient with a mild form of smallpox.  Indeed, the dried out scabs would contain weakened or dead smallpox virus, which the human immune system could easily fight off or at least obtain an immunological memory from its antigens.  Viriolation became popular in China, especially among nobles and the upper class.  One doctor named Zhang Yan boasted that he had successfully viriolated up to 9,000 people.  In the 18th century a Japanese physician reported that around 80%-90% of China’s upper class families had their children viriolated.

The practice of Chinese viriolation was not without risks, as the virus could mutate and the patient become infected with full blown smallpox.  However, the benefits far outweighed the risks in an age when smallpox decimated entire societies.  Over time the Chinese would perfect their technique, finding easier and safer ways to infect patients.  Their methods would spread across the Silk Road, being adopted in India, the Middles, and by the 18th century in Europe.  It was then that Dr. Edward Jenner would experiment with various viriolation methods.  It was in 1796 that he would develop the first modern vaccine by inoculating patients with cowpox, a disease similar to cowpox but much less deadly, and thus make them immune to smallpox.  Today, the use of vaccines are a staple of modern society.  The last case of smallpox occurred in 1977. 

Alright, I’m not gonna reblog/deal with it anymore. But know this: This Blog Willl Defend The 1D Girlfriends/Ex-Girlfriends Until The End Of Time. Because considering how much the fandom brags about being a safe space and LGBT+ friendly and feminist, the slut-shaming and horrifying sexism targeted at these girls is out of control and really fucking vile.

What if Tuck Everlasting Began Like Every Teen White Movie Ever?

Hi! My name’s Winnie. And I’m…not like those other girls. Oh no, I’m not exciting, adventurous, or able to leave the house, I’m just…Winnie. *Jesse Tuck enters* and that’s Jesse. He is sooo hot! How does one describe the hotness of the great Jesse Tuck? He’s like if you combined Oscar Wilde and Edward Jenner. But, I’m…just Winnie and this is my story. *dirty little secret plays in the background*

The Balmis Expedition

Smallpox ravaged the New World for centuries after the Spanish conquest. In 1797 Edward Jenner showed that exposure to the cowpox virus could protect one against the disease, but the problem remained how to transport cowpox across the sea. In 1802 Charles IV of Spain announced a bold plan — 22 orphaned children would be sent by ship; after the first child was inoculated, his skin would exude fluid that could be passed to the next child. By passing the live virus from arm to arm, the children formed a transmission chain that could transport the vaccine in an era before refrigeration and other modern technology was available.

And it worked! Over the next 10 years Spain spread the vaccine throughout the New World and to the Philippines, Macao, and China.