What Started Smallpox?

When was the cause of smallpox discovered?

The origin of smallpox is unknown.

The earliest evidence of the disease dates to the 3rd century BCE in Egyptian mummies.

The disease historically occurred in outbreaks..

What was the first case of smallpox?

The earliest evidence of smallpox skin lesions has been found on the faces of mummies from the eighteenth and twentieth Egyptian dynasties, and in the well-preserved mummy of Pharaoh Ramses V, who died in 1157 B.C.E. The first recorded smallpox epidemic occurred in 1350 B.C.E., during the Egyptian-Hittite War.

Who cured smallpox?

The smallpox vaccine, introduced by Edward Jenner in 1796, was the first successful vaccine to be developed. He observed that milkmaids who previously had caught cowpox did not catch smallpox and showed that inoculated vaccinia protected against inoculated variola virus.

Does smallpox still exist?

Currently, there is no evidence of naturally occurring smallpox transmission anywhere in the world. Although a worldwide immunization program eradicated smallpox disease decades ago, small quantities of smallpox virus officially still exist in two research laboratories in Atlanta, Georgia, and in Russia.

What animal did smallpox come from?

Virologists have speculated that it evolved from an African rodent poxvirus 10 millennia ago. Because of the absence of an animal vector, communities had to reach a critical population (estimated at 200,000 around 3000 BCE) before endemic smallpox could be established.

What caused smallpox?

Smallpox is caused by infection with the variola virus. The virus can be transmitted: Directly from person to person. Direct transmission of the virus requires fairly prolonged face-to-face contact.