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Dr. Jenner and the Speckled Monster: The…
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Dr. Jenner and the Speckled Monster: The Discovery of the Smallpox Vacci:…

by Albert Marrin

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This book, by Albert Marrin, tells about the discover of the cure to smallpox. The book starts out by telling how the spanish conquistadors brought this dreadful disease to the Aztecs when they visited South America. It progresses, telling about the horror stories of the disease, about how it inspired terror in the hearts of people around the world. Then Edward Jenner came along. Edward Jenner first worked as a simple surgeon, studying under John Hunter. When Hunter could not teach him anymore, Edward finally achieved the title of Dr. Jenner. Smallpox had interested Jenner for some time, but he could not figure out a way to cure it. Back then, people thought it came from foul air, or a vicious quality that a child got from its mothers blood when in the womb. Dr. Jenner used the standard method to treat smallpox, which was inoculation. He would give the patients small cases of smallpox and then the patients would be free from any other smallpox attack. But Dr. Jenner wasn't satisfied.
He knew the horrors of inoculation, having experienced it himself. People just inoculated were put in a room, crammed together, sleeping on the floor until they were deemed well enough to go back home. Jenner didn't want anyone to experience that. So he decided to find a new way. As Jenner went about his observations, he noted that milkmaids never got smallpox. The reason for that, they said, was because they had already had the cowpox. Cowpox is a mild disease where an infection appears on the cow's udders and teats. The milkmaids, as they milked the cows, would contract the disease too. But they would eventually get better, and keep on milking cows. Jenner went on a mission to find the reason for this. He eventually found it. The cowpox is not nearly as dangerous as smallpox, but it is enough, so that when smallpox enters, the immune system recognizes it and destroys it before it can wreck damage. Jenner conducted experiments, and all of them proved to be successful. Whoever he inoculated with cowpox, would be free of smallpox! With this new discovery, Jenner excitedly told other people. The public saw it as a much safer and less terrifying experience than the other inoculation. Soon, more and more people were getting inoculated. At the end of the book, the author tells about the preventions against smallpox in effect today.

In my opinion, this was a very interesting book. I didn't think that it would be that interesting because it was one of my school books, but I learned a lot from it. It showed me how dangerous something invisible to the human eye can be, and the genius of the human mind. It was a little bit confusing in some places, but overall, it was a worthwhile read.
  liz.wong98 | Jan 21, 2011 |
This is one icky book. It's a history of the smallpox vaccine, so it's always talking about diseases and blisters and pus and... well, icky stuff. As far as readability, the book is only waiting room material. But it is chock full of historical information. It tells a story that I never got in history class--one that is as significant to our modern age as the Boston Tea Party or the arrival of the Pilgrims.
--J. ( )
  Hamburgerclan | Apr 6, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0525469222, Hardcover)

In 1796, an unknown country doctor named Edward Jenner developed and administered the world's first vaccine-turning the tide in humanity's age-old war against disease.

Award-winning author Albert Marrin explains the significance of "immortal" Jenner's gift to mankind as he narrates the epic story of smallpox, a disease so contagious and deadly it has dramatically influenced the course of history. From the mummified remains of its first known victim to the sinister threat of the "frozen monster" that lurks in the vials of ultramodern laboratories, readers will be held spellbound by this readable and timely combination of science and history.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:38 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Chronicles Dr. Edward Jenner's efforts to discover a vaccine for the smallpox virus and explains how his discovery impacted the world.

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