Every year nearly ten million people die from infectious diseases. A large percent of them from diseases that are preventable by vaccines. Diseases have taken a toll on America and throughout its history has faced many pandemics, epidemics and outbreaks . We have created vaccines to prevent and minimized the significance and Fatality rates of outbreaks and eradicate some of the most devastating illness known to the human race.
Before Jonas Salk and Thomas Francis created the flu shot in 1938 some twenty years after the Haemophilus Influenza pandemic between 1918 and 1919, claimed approximately six hundred and seventy five thousand American lives and between twenty million to fifty million lives worldwide. During that time Influenza had affected over twenty five percent of the population of the United States of America. Influenza has been one of the most ferocious illnesses in not just America but worldwide and as stated in the book The Great Influenza by John M. Barry The pandemic of 1918 killed more people in 24 months than AIDS killed in 24 years, more in a year than the Black Death killed in a century, according to the book “The Great Influenza.”
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The adverse affects the average life expectancy of men and women by dropping it by twelve years. During the pandemic influenza was the leading cause of bacterial meningitis young children under five. Meningitis is the inflammation of the membranes surrounding your spinal cord and brain. This vaccine was originally made to protect troops against Influenza during World War II because of the amount of troops that died from it right after and during the first World War. Also in the article by Doyle Rice The virus killed more American troops than died on World War I battlefields. After the vaccine was created, infections dropped by ninety nine percent. The annual rate of influenza related deaths has dropped to thirty six thousand throughout America. Influenza has not been eradicated because it is an ever changing virus. Every flu season is a brand new strain.
Also throughout America in later years to come after Influenza. It is said that on an annual average of three out of every four people were infected with measles and almost all children got it by the age of fifteen. Before John Enders and his colleagues created this vaccine by isolating the disease from an infected students blood, around forty eight thousand people were hospitalized causing hundreds of deaths. Encephalitis caused by measles was reported in over four thousand cases It is estimated that more than twenty million lives were saved because of the development of this vaccine. Although measles has been highly controlled and mostly eradicated in the United States it is still present in other countries and almost all recent cases of measles reported in America is said to be caused by exposure from travelers and immigrants from countries where measles still affects people.
Smallpox was first introduced to America when early European settlers. Smallpox almost eliminated local populations, killing approximately ninety percent of Native Americans. Smallpox was also used as one of the very first forms of biological warfare, settlers gave blankets from from smallpox infected people to the natives and because of lack of exposure to these types of diseases.
The smallpox vaccine was the first successful vaccine. Before the vaccine was created by Edward Jenner in 1796 the fatality rate from the disease was estimated to be around thirty percent and three out of ten people infected with smallpox died. This early form of immunization against smallpox was made by exposing humans to cowpox, which when a person was infected it resembled mild symptoms of smallpox without the the risk of fatality. Another way to attenuate smallpox infections was stated in the book The Reader’s Companion To American History written by Eric Foner and John A. Garraty on page 355 Early eighteenth century the technique consisted of transplanting scabs or pus of smallpox victims into open wounds of healthy individuals. These people developed mild symptoms and thereafter immunity. This technique was adopted by European-Americans and helped in the development of inoculation and vaccination as effective preventives.” Both of these approaches helped people build tolerance against smallpox, and because of development of this vaccine smallpox has been eradicated worldwide and there is no evidence of the disease being naturally occurring and only exists in laboratories.
Mumps is a contagious viral infection that causes swelling to saliva producing glands, and in some cases it can cause encephalitis and permanent deafness in children. Before the mumps vaccine was created by Maurice Hilleman and introduced in 1967 there were approximately one hundred and eighty six thousand cases each year with a fatality rate of one point four percent. Since the vaccine that number has decreased by ninety nine percent with sporadic outbreaks ranging from a couple hundred infections to a couple thousand infections. Because of the fact that mumps is not yet eradicated vaccines only protect against current circulating strains of the mumps virus and doctors advise to get your vaccine renewed during outbreaks. Especially if you live in a heavily populated areas with low vaccination rates. Although this vaccine has not eliminated an ever changing virus infections have been tremendously decreased and have been no recently reported mumps related deaths .
The first clinical case of polio may have been recorded by Jacob Heines in 1789. He had a patient with the same symptoms as the polio disease and with the same involvement with in spinal cord. Polio’s first epidemic appeared in 1894 with one hundred thirty two cases that year. Polio was not as widespread as other diseases approximately fourteen cases per hundred thousand, but it was feared just as much among American society because of its paralytic effects in young children and adults affected by the virus. Polio was widely and in the media because during its reign of terror FDR was affected by polio at a young age and was unable to walk correctly or stand for long periods of time. During his presidency in the 1930s and early forties.
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