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March 8, 1965


Author Affiliations

Los Angeles

JAMA. 1965;191(10):866. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080100084033

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To the Editor:—  Regarding the term variolation, as used in the Nov 16, 1964, issue ("Smallpox Vaccination vs Inoculation," LETTERS JAMA190:690), my memory is somewhat different. I believe it was Osler who wrote in his textbook (about 1916) that variolation consisted of inhaling, through the nose, pulverized dried smallpox scabs. It was stated that this practice was introduced into England by the wife of the English ambassador to Turkey, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. It produced a somewhat milder form of smallpox at a more convenient time and when the individual was in a good state of health.

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