The Harvard Classics Volume 38 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 478 pages of information about The Harvard Classics Volume 38.

Wishing to see the effects of the disease on an infant newly born, my nephew, Mr. Henry Jenner, at my request, inserted the vaccine virus into the arm of a child about twenty hours old.  His report to me is that the child went through the disease without apparent illness, yet that it was found effectually to resist the action of variolous matter with which it was subsequently inoculated.

I have had an opportunity of trying the effects of the cow-pox matter on a boy, who, the day preceding its insertion, sickened with the measles.  The eruption of the measles, attended with cough, a little pain in the chest; and the usual symptoms accompanying the disease, appeared on the third day and spread all over him.  The disease went through its course without any deviation from its usual habits; and, notwithstanding this, the cow-pox virus excited its common appearances, both on the arm and on the constitution, without any febrile interruption; on the sixth day there was a vesicle.

8th:  Pain in the axilla, chilly, and affected with headache.

9th:  Nearly well.

12th:  The pustule spread to the size of a large split-pea, but without any surrounding efflorescence.  It soon afterwards scabbed, and the boy recovered his general health rapidly.  But it should be observed that before it scabbed the efflorescence which had suffered a temporary suspension advanced in the usual manner.

Here we see a deflation from the ordinary habits of the smallpox, as it has been observed that the presence of the measles suspends the action of the variolous matter.

The very general investigation that is now taking place, chiefly through inoculation (and I again repeat my earnest hope that it may be conducted with that calmness and moderation which should ever accompany a philosophical research), must soon place the vaccine disease in its just point of view.  The result of all my trials with the virus on the human subject has been uniform.  In every instance the patient who has felt its influence, has completely lost the susceptibility for the variolous contagion; and as these instances are now become numerous, I conceive that, joined to the observations in the former part of this paper, they sufficiently preclude me from the necessity of entering into controversies with those who have circulated reports adverse to my assertions, on no other evidence than what has been casually collected.

III

A continuation of facts and observations relative to the various vaccines, or cow-pox. 1800

Since my former publications on the vaccine inoculation I have had the satisfaction of seeing it extend very widely.  Not only in this country is the subject pursued with ardour, but from my correspondence with many respectable medical gentlemen on the Continent (among whom are Dr. De Carro, of Vienna, and Dr. Ballhorn, of Hanover) I find it is as warmly adopted abroad, where it has afforded the greatest satisfaction.  I have the pleasure, too, of seeing that the feeble efforts of a few individuals to depreciate the new practice are sinking fast into contempt beneath the immense mass of evidence which has arisen up in support of it.

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The Harvard Classics Volume 38 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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