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August 15, 1931


JAMA. 1931;97(7):471-472. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02730070037020

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Smallpox in England and Wales  The ministry of health has published an important review of the present position of smallpox in England and Wales, particularly with regard to prevention. Since the pandemic of 1871-1872 the disease has been considered eminently preventable in this country. It has been established that recent successful vaccination will prevent an attack or allow only a modified one if performed within forty-eight hours of exposure. However, there are rare cases in which smallpox has occurred within two or three years of successful vaccination. But in England infant vaccination has now fallen to 40 per cent of births and a mild form of smallpox ("variola minor") has become prevalent since 1922 in parts of the country, including London. Thus, while the number of notified cases of smallpox in England and Wales in 1921 was 315, that in 1922 was 973, and the rise has continued until 14,767

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