Medicine: U. S. Smallpox

Many U. S. citizens believe that smallpox was wiped out in this country decades ago. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.'s Statistical Bulletin last week pointed out a striking statistic: the U. S. in 1939 had over 10,000 smallpox cases. "With the single exception of India [with almost 130,000 cases]," said the bulletin, "we still lead the civilized world in our tolerance of this loathsome and dangerous disease."* The reason: failure to vaccinate. Only ten States (nine of them east of the Mississippi) have compulsory vaccination laws.

Smallpox is rare on the Atlantic seaboard, occurs mostly in Indiana, Iowa, California, Texas, Illinois.

* Smallpox...

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