variola

Varíola demoníaca, oh, varíola demoníaca,
Como é que se contrai?
Indo a zona podre da cidade
Até não poder mais.
Varíola demoníaca, oh, varíola demoníaca
Eu tive o tempo todo…
Não a doença, amigo bobão,
Estou falando da canção…
Pois vocês estavam errados, e eu com razão!
—  William Herondale. A canção da varíola demoníaca. Príncipe Mecânico. Cassandra Clare.

Stuff in my Office

Dr Warhol’s Periodic Table of Microbes

1873 lithograph of smallpox and variola.

From Epidemic and Contagious Diseases by LP Brockett.

Photorealistic illustrations in color in old textbooks are hard to come by. This figure would have required that the talented artist got very close to patients with smallpox over several days to record different disease stages. The artwork would then need the expertise of a lithographer to create color separations and do the printing. The final images were hand-inserted in the text book with slip sheets so the ink would not smear.

Pathogen: Epstein barr virus
Disease: Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Pathogen: Rubella virus
Disease: Measles

Pathogen: Variola major virus
Disease: Smallpox

Pathogen: Fear
Disease: Racism

Pathogen: Gentrification
Disease: Class Warfare

Pathogen: Reciprocity
Disease: Love

Pathogen: This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
Disease: Wine drunk writing 3 poems about heartache in a Motel 6

Pathogen: Losing it all in Vietnam. Finding it all in America.
Disease: “Overbearing” parents

Pathogen: Bullying
Disease: Varies from case to case

Pathogen: College
Disease: Crippling financial debt

Pathogen: Getting jumped on Halloween
Disease: Being Asian

Pathogen: Not loving myself
Disease: Western Beauty Standards

Pathogen: Capitalism
Disease: Greed

Pathogen: The uncontainable shine that tells us magic exists & that our world can be fair can be festivals & that we are so much bigger than our doubts that our shadows exist when there is light & we are bound to each other & we this golden hearted community & strength in numbers & solidarity & faith in humanity never restored because we never lost it & wearing the flag of our generation across our shoulders holding this new courage our Superman cape & when the bus driver let me on the bus when I was missing 50 cents & the feeling where mutual respect resonates into our humanness & when we read write love fight win lose draw & when we explore what makes us good & bad & us.
Disease: Hope

—  Pathogen by Alex Dang!
2

Vaccine-preventable diseases.  Getting my nerd on for The Lacquer Legion’s Weird Science challenge– I wanted to celebrate vaccines by showing some of the pathogens they protect against.  From pinky to thumb: diptheria (Corynebacterium diphtheriae), polio (poliovirus), smallpox (variola virus), measles (measles virus), and rabies (rabies virus).

Blogs to follow? c:

I’m looking for some more blogs to follow concerning ANY of these fandoms listed below. Reblog and I’ll check yours out. ^^

Hannibal
Orphan Black
Dollhouse
Harry Potter
Pokemon
Hetalia
Elementary
Marvel
Batman

Followbacks, are of course, appreciated. Many thanks, friends. ~Variola-in-C-Major

2

The Variola virus, better known as smallpox is one of the viruses responsible for killing off approx. 95% of the indigenous American population, including Inca Huayna Capac. It often preceded Europeans themselves who found an almost empty continent fit for colonization. Compare this fact to the colonization of Asia and Africa, where the native peoples were for the most part as resistent to this virus as the Europeans. The large populations there made it harder for European powers to colonize. Imagine how the world would’ve looked like if the Indian Americans had at least some kind of resistance and see their societies survive…

What if you could put an end to a painful or deadly disease? If you could ensure that no one would ever suffer from it again? That goal of wiping out every single case of a disease is ambitious and the challenges are enormous—but the potential benefits are even greater.

Opening January 13, the new exhibition Countdown to Zero: Defeating Disease documents the fight to eradicate human disease. In the days leading up to the opening, we’ll be featuring diseases highlighted in this exhibition. 

Disease: Smallpox

Disease agent: The variola virus

The threat: First-ever disease to be eradicated; the smallpox virus exists only in secure labs.

How infection spreads: From person-to-person contact, through the air, and from contact with infected bodily fluids and objects such as bedding or clothing.

Defeating the disease: The smallpox vaccine, discovered by Edward Jenner in 1796, was the world’s first vaccine. A global immunization effort began in the mid-20th century, led by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Eradication potential: Declared eradicated in 1980.

2

Vaccination and the End of Polio

On May 14, 1796 English doctor Edward Jenner inoculated an eight year old boy named James Phipps with the cowpox virus known since antiquity as variola vaccinia.  It had long been known that milkmaids exposed to cowpox were then immune to small pox, a much more dangerous version of the same virus.  In the quarter century prior to Dr. Jenner’s attempt, many doctors and even farmers and lay people had been experimenting with what is now commonly known as a vaccination.  The word vaccination came straight from the Latin adjective used to describe the variola.  In cases of infection, the word variola (a diminutive of varius) meant varying or variable-because the skin began to differ from the skin around it.  So the infection variola vaccinia meant a skin rash or infection that came from cows, the Latin root word being vacca-a cow-in the form vaccinus.

May 14, 1796 is known as the birth of the modern vaccine and the science of vaccination not simply because Edward Jenner inoculated a brave young boy, but because he followed up the experiment with further injections of deadly smallpox virus after to prove that the inoculation in fact worked.  Although the immediate success and implementation of the vaccines were obvious, the Royal Society did not fully embrace his findings until after his death, despite generous support for Jenner’s efforts from the Crown.

On October 12, 1977 Somalia Ali Maow Maalin was infected while guiding two small children with smallpox.  He was mis-diagnosed with chickenpox and sent home, coming into contact with 91 people over the course of his illness.  He recovered, and the World Heath Organization undertook a huge effort to identify and vaccinate everyone at risk. 

Maalin recovered and died last year of malaria after a career fighting polio.  On December 9, 1979, the smallpox virus was certified eradicated by the Global Commission for the Certification of Smallpox Eradication.  Now only laboratory samples and cultures exist of the virus.

Painting of Edward Jenner by James Northcote, image in the public domain.

Electron micrograph of variola vaccinia by John Heuser under a Creative Commons 3.0 license

Image of Maalin courtesy World Health Organization.

On May 14, 1796 English doctor Edward Jenner inoculated an eight year old boy named James Phipps with the cowpox virus known since antiquity as variola vaccinia.  It had long been known that milkmaids exposed to cowpox were then immune to small pox, a much more dangerous version of the same virus.  In the quarter century prior to Dr. Jenner’s attempt, many doctors and even farmers and lay people had been experimenting with what is now commonly known as a vaccination.  The word vaccination came straight from the Latin adjective used to describe the variola.  In cases of infection, the word variola (a diminutive of varius) meant varying or variable-because the skin began to differ from the skin around it.  So the infection variola vacciniameant a skin rash or infection that came from cows, the Latin root word beingvacca-a cow-in the form vaccinus

May 14, 1796 is known as the birth of the modern vaccine and the science ofvaccination not simply because Edward Jenner inoculated a brave young boy, but because he followed up the experiment with further injections of deadly smallpox virus after to prove that the inoculation in fact worked.  Although the immediate success and implementation of the vaccines were obvious, the Royal Society did not fully embrace his findings until after his death, despite generous support for Jenner’s efforts from the Crown.

On October 12, 1977 Somalia Ali Maow Maalin was infected while guiding two small children with smallpox.  He was mis-diagnosed with chickenpox and sent home, coming into contact with 91 people over the course of his illness.  He recovered, and the World Heath Organization undertook a huge effort to identify and vaccinate everyone at risk.  Maalin recovered and died last year of malaria after a career fighting polio.  On December 9, 1979, the smallpox virus was certified eradicated by the Global Commission for the Certification of Smallpox Eradication.  Now only laboratory samples and cultures exist of the virus.

Image of Maalin courtesy World Health Organization.