Smallpox and London

Smallpox and London

In a crowded city like London a disease like smallpox was bound to spread. With little medical treatment available to the poor, it was this social group that suffered the most. Edward Jenner had not patented his discovery of a vaccination, but medical help had still to be paid for. This severely restricted the number of those who could be treated for smallpox and it hit hard those in dirty tenements found in Londonís East End.

 

The impact of smallpox can be found from the records of deaths kept for 1844.

 

Deaths of those under 1 year old: 4120

 

Deaths of those aged 1: 1524

 

Deaths of those aged 2: 1197

 

Deaths of those aged 3: 569

 

Deaths of those aged 4: 629

 

Deaths of those aged 5: 1122

 

Deaths of those aged 10: 226

 

Deaths of those aged 15: 226

 

Deaths of those aged 20: 240

 

Deaths of those aged 25: 148

 

Deaths of those aged 30: 98

 

Deaths of those aged 35: 75

 

Deaths of those aged 40: 43

 

Deaths of those aged 45: 22

 

Deaths of those aged 50: 13

 

Deaths of those aged 55: 10

 

Deaths of those aged 60: 19

 

Deaths of those aged 70: 10

 

Deaths of those aged 75: 4

 

Deaths of those aged 80: 10

 

Deaths of those aged 85: 1

 

Deaths of those aged 90: 0

 

Total deaths from smallpox for 1844: 10,316

 

This represents an average of 28 deaths a day from a disease that had a cure.






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