Infectious Diseases: Two Faces of Smallpox

The English patients' faces were spotty, and the English health officers' faces were red. For in the industrial Midlands, less than a hundred miles from the birthplace of vaccination, no fewer than 24 Britons had come down with smallpox by last week. Both patients and health officers were lucky. They had no idea what traveler had carried the disease or where he had come from, but the smallpox proved to be the mild form, variola minor or alastrim. Only ten patients had to be hospitalized; the rest could be treated at home—with,...

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