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May 22, 1915

The History of Smallpox in Australia, 1788-1908.

JAMA. 1915;LXIV(21):1784-1785. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02570470068033

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Quarantine Service Publication No. 3 of the Australian Commonwealth gives a history of smallpox in that country from its settlement in 1788 to 1908. Though the records are incomplete, there is in this publication much detailed information gathered and compiled from various sources. There are recorded imperfect histories of three distinct and fatal epidemics of the disease among the aborigines since the opening of the country, and eleven epidemics among the population in the settlements. The latter epidemics have been small, the largest including only about 154 cases, and the total number of cases down to 1908 amounting to only about 500. In almost all instances the disease has been introduced by vessels plying at the various ports, though it has been endemic to a slight extent since its first introduction. The disease has been introduced 182 times in a period of eighty years. It has shown a very short

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