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Disease has wrecked havoc on mankind, a cruel
leveler, balancing out the forces for the greater good. The endless
battles man has fought against this constant bane have gone
Disease has wrecked havoc on mankind, a cruel leveler, balancing out the forces for the greater good. The endless battles man has fought against this constant bane have gone underappreciated by those that reap the benefits of the perseverance and intelligence of great men before them.
Edward Jenner is probably a forgotten name you once read in the corner of a grade level text book. But hear me out when I say you probably owe this man infinite gratitude for your life.
Lets go back to a time when a disease called small pox had men dying like flies. The bacteria hit about sixty percent of the population and twenty percent of these people had death call at their doors. Most of the ill were children and those that survived, bore the scars and blemishes it left them for the rest of their lives.
Jenner, like some of his peers, observed that people who suffered from cow pox (like small pox but less virulent and fatal), especially milk maids, almost never contracted small pox. Something that festered in the former seemed to prevent the onslaught of the more dreaded pox. Braving an extraordinarily gutsy move, he injected the treated pus from cow pox ridden people into an eight-year-old boy. He continued treatment and observation and found that the boy never suffered the disease. He published his findings to the research authorities who ostracized him for insufficient proof and unorthodox methods.
Giving up was not an option when the solution seemed so close. He did 23 more trials, one of them on his own infant son. The masses criticized him for something they found repellant, having animal extracts injected into them. The newspapers had caricatures of his patients sprouting bovine heads.
With a slow acceptance of his vaccine, small pox, a disease that once flared horror became rarer. Now according to the United Nations, the disease has been completely eradicated.
All thanks to this brave man. Lesser known is the fact that he is also responsible for our understanding of the Cuckoo's nesting habits and that he was a prominent Freemason.