Lady Montagu, 18th Century British Aristocrat, Feminist, Smallpox Fighter and Public Health Heroine

The year is 1718. Smallpox inoculation is unknown in Western cultures, and vaccine is still decades in the future. Commoners and kings are powerless against the onslaught of the speckled monster. How did one intrepid British aristocrat discover a practice in a far-off land, become an immunization pioneer and a heroine in the annals of…

Beautiful and loved Queen Mary II died of smallpox at age 32.

SMALLPOX SHUFFLES DYNASTIES

SMALLPOX SHUFFLING DYNASTIES "It shuffled the leadership of royal houses like a handful of playing cards.” So says writer Maryn McKenna of smallpox. (See my previous post.) Her National Geographic article revealed that DNA from a young Lithuanian girl's mummy is rewriting smallpox history. And the disease shuffling dynasties? Let's take a look. A Roll Call of Royal…

SURPRISE! SMALLPOX NOT AS ANCIENT AS WE THOUGHT

Unexpected Smallpox    A young girl in a Lithuanian church was revealing secrets. Secrets about her life. And her disease. Some were secrets that had been anticipated. But then. As scientists continued to examine the girl’s naturally mummified remains, they were in for a surprise. Variola major. Smallpox! They were looking for something else entirely among the…