Don’t forget to check out the latest exhibit posted near the 3rd floor entrance! It’s the history of Smallpox, and is quite informative!
Smallpox has claimed more lives than any other disease in history, ravaging humankind for thousands of years. During the 18th century, smallpox killed an estimated 400,000 Europeans every year. Even those who were fortunate enough to survive (the mortality rate for the most virulent form ranged from 20 to 60 percent) were usually scarred or deformed in some way for the remainder of their lives.
Following the advent of Jenner’s cowpox vaccine at the beginning of the 19th century, the number of cases declined significantly but as late as 1967, The World Health Organization estimated that two million died from smallpox that year, mostly in underdeveloped countries.
Finally, in 1980, Following a mass vaccination, surveillance and containment effort, The World Health Assembly announced the global eradication of smallpox, the only naturally occurring disease to be eliminated by humans.