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An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae A Disease Discovered in Some of the Western Counties of England, Particularly Gloucestershire, and Known by the Name of the Cow Pox   By: (1749-1823)

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AN INQUIRY INTO THE CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF THE VARIOLÆ VACCINÆ.

PRICE 7s. 6d.

AN INQUIRY INTO THE CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF THE VARIOLÆ VACCINÆ, A DISEASE DISCOVERED IN SOME OF THE WESTERN COUNTIES OF ENGLAND, PARTICULARLY GLOUCESTERSHIRE , AND KNOWN BY THE NAME OF THE COW POX.

BY EDWARD JENNER, M.D. F.R.S. &c.

QUID NOBIS CERTIUS IPSIS SENSIBUS ESSE POTEST, QUO VERA AC FALSA NOTEMUS.

LUCRETIUS.

London: PRINTED, FOR THE AUTHOR, BY SAMPSON LOW, Nº. 7, BERWICK STREET, SOHO: AND SOLD BY LAW, AVE MARIA LANE; AND MURRAY AND HIGHLEY, FLEET STREET.

1798.

TO C. H. PARRY, M.D. AT BATH.

My dear friend ,

In the present age of scientific investigation, it is remarkable that a disease of so peculiar a nature as the Cow Pox, which has appeared in this and some of the neighbouring counties for such a series of years, should so long have escaped particular attention. Finding the prevailing notions on the subject, both among men of our profession and others, extremely vague and indeterminate, and conceiving that facts might appear at once both curious and useful, I have instituted as strict an inquiry into the causes and effects of this singular malady as local circumstances would admit.

The following pages are the result, which, from motives of the most affectionate regard, are dedicated to you, by

Your sincere Friend, EDWARD JENNER.

Berkeley, Gloucestershire, June 21st, 1798.

AN INQUIRY, &c. &c.

The deviation of Man from the state in which he was originally placed by Nature seems to have proved to him a prolific source of Diseases. From the love of splendour, from the indulgences of luxury, and from his fondness for amusement, he has familiarised himself with a great number of animals, which may not originally have been intended for his associates.

The Wolf, disarmed of ferocity, is now pillowed in the lady's lap[1]. The Cat, the little Tyger of our island, whose natural home is the forest, is equally domesticated and caressed. The Cow, the Hog, the Sheep, and the Horse, are all, for a variety of purposes, brought under his care and dominion.

There is a disease to which the Horse, from his state of domestication, is frequently subject. The Farriers have termed it the Grease . It is an inflammation and swelling in the heel, from which issues matter possessing properties of a very peculiar kind, which seems capable of generating a disease in the Human Body (after it has undergone the modification which I shall presently speak of), which bears so strong a resemblance to the Small Pox, that I think it highly probable it may be the source of that disease.

In this Dairy Country a great number of Cows are kept, and the office of milking is performed indiscriminately by Men and Maid Servants. One of the former having been appointed to apply dressings to the heels of a Horse affected with the Grease , and not paying due attention to cleanliness, incautiously bears his part in milking the Cows, with some particles of the infectious matter adhering to his fingers. When this is the case, it commonly happens that a disease is communicated to the Cows, and from the Cows to the Dairy maids, which spreads through the farm until most of the cattle and domestics feel its unpleasant consequences. This disease has obtained the name of the Cow Pox. It appears on the nipples of the Cows in the form of irregular pustules. At their first appearance they are commonly of a palish blue, or rather of a colour somewhat approaching to livid, and are surrounded by an erysipelatous inflammation. These pustules, unless a timely remedy be applied, frequently degenerate into phagedenic ulcers, which prove extremely troublesome[2]. The animals become indisposed, and the secretion of milk is much lessened. Inflamed spots now begin to appear on different parts of the hands of the domestics employed in milking, and sometimes on the wrists, which quickly run on to suppuration, first assuming the appearance of the small vesications produced by a burn... Continue reading book >>




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