1712 First record of variolation for smallpox in France.
1715 Lady Mary Montague
suffers from an episode of
smallpox - variola - which severely disfigures her beautiful face.
1717 Variolation against smallpox instituted in
England by Lady Montague after she returns from Turkey where it is in an
Cotton Mather attempts variolation by
smearing smallpox pus into scratches of healthy people.
Over 220 people
are treated during the first six months of experimentation.
have no apparent reaction.
Mather is bitterly attacked for recommending
Charles Maitland is granted a royal license to perform a
trial of variolation on six prisoners in Newgate on August 9, 1721.
1722 Charles Maitland successfully variolates
the two daughters of the Princess of Wales.
The procedure gains general
acceptance after this success.
Although only 2% to 3% of variolated
persons die from the disease they became the source of new epidemics of other
diseases (e.g., tuberculosis and syphilis) transmitted by the procedure itself.
Even so variolation rapidly gains popularity among the aristocracy of
The case-fatality rate associated with variolation is 10 times
lower than that associated with naturally occurring smallpox.
a Dr. Wright refers to variolation against smallpox in the British Isles as "an
A citizen of Wales, 99 years old, states that
variolation had been practiced during his entire lifetime, and his mother
stated it was common during her life, as she got smallpox through her
1723 First record of smallpox
variolation in Ireland, when a doctor in Dublin variolates 25 people.
Three died and variolation is briefly abandoned.
1724 First record of variolation for smallpox in Germany.
It soon fell into disfavor due to the number of
Years later, doctors
are able to reintroduce variolation.
Smallpox epidemic in Berlin.
blueblood European princes die of smallpox, giving further impetus for the wide
spread use of variolation.
1754 Variolation for
smallpox introduced in Rome.
In ancient Greece and Rome variolation
against smallpox was not practiced.
They were famous in antiquity for
their general habits of cleanliness.
Smallpox is carried there by those
who have been variolated.
1763 Epidemic of smallpox in France wipes out a large part of
It is immediately attributed to variolation, and the
practice is prohibited by the French government for five years.
1768 The medical profession in France is successful in
instituting variolation inoculation.
The word "inoculation" is derived
from the Latin inoculare, meaning "to graft."
Inoculation referred to
the subcutaneous instillation of smallpox virus into nonimmune individuals.
The inoculator usually used a lancet wet with fresh matter taken from a
ripe pustule of some person who suffered from smallpox.
The material was then subcutaneously introduced on the arms or legs of
the nonimmune person.
1778 Danish physicians move to open two major variolation
inoculation houses in Denmark, by order of the King.
In Italy, infants
are inoculated by Neapolitan nurses without the knowledge of parents bypassing
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