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March 25, 1899


JAMA. 1899;XXXII(12):673-674. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.02450390039011

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A new conception of smallpox has recently been evolved from the expansive intellect of an imaginative Frenchman. In brief, this genius holds Jenner up to obloquy and opprobrium for his discovery of vaccination and its protective influence against smallpox, which he considers "a spontaneous eruption of nature —which violently rejects, expels and deposits outside the evil influences that are in the body." The signs of croup, typhoid fever and pulmonary tuberculosis are looked upon as merely manifestations of smallpox turned inward; carcinoma and meningitis own a like etiology, and insanity and suicide are traceable to the same morbid influences. In commenting upon these ebullitions of a mind unhampered by scientific considerations the British Medical Journal suggests "that the mere possibility of such dire consequences from the 'turning inward of smallpox afforded some justification for an attempt to keep it out altogether."

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