From Variolation to Cowpox Vaccination: The First Steps Towards Eradicating Smallpox

*The following blog post was written by Samantha Sandassie, Queen’s University PH.D candidate/teaching fellow Edward Jenner looms large in the history of vaccination.  Known today as the “father of immunology,” Jenner is most famous for developing a vaccine against smallpox in the 1790s.  The vaccine brilliantly made use of common knowledge.  Milkmaids were known for … More From Variolation to Cowpox Vaccination: The First Steps Towards Eradicating Smallpox

Raising Awareness about Tuberculosis – World TB Day, 24 March 2012 Pt. 2

Why We Should Care About TB Many people in the West have never thought about tuberculosis as a risk to their health.  Tuberculosis is often considered to be a disease of the past.  In 2011 in Canada the incidence of any form of tuberculosis was only 5 per 100,000, according to the World Health Organization … More Raising Awareness about Tuberculosis – World TB Day, 24 March 2012 Pt. 2

Raising Awareness about Tuberculosis – World TB Day, 24 March 2012 Pt. 1

What is TB? Tuberculosis is caused by an infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, rod-shaped bacteria that are spread mostly through air-born droplets or dust micro-particles of dried sputum.  Once inhaled, the body’s immune system typically reacts by engulfing the bacteria, forming a tubercle that contains the bacteria to help keep it from spreading.  In most cases, … More Raising Awareness about Tuberculosis – World TB Day, 24 March 2012 Pt. 1

History of Health Care: Quarantine and Isolation

Before the nineteenth century, quarantine and isolation had been practiced in an effort to protect the community from contagious diseases such as plague and smallpox in the absence of specific treatment. Such diseases were considered contagious even though the cause and method of transmission were not known. Two important developments occurred during the last half … More History of Health Care: Quarantine and Isolation

A Brief History of Isolation and Infectious Disease

Contagious disease has challenged society throughout human history. Quarantine and isolation was practiced in response to the pandemics of bubonic plague and cholera, beginning in the Middle Ages. In the 18th and 19th centuries, smallpox led to smallpox hospitals in some large urban communities. At the same time, citizens lived with the fear of outbreaks … More A Brief History of Isolation and Infectious Disease