The End of Smallpox

By | 08.04.2017

Word List. Unit 13

  • To certify something means to confirm that its results are true.
    The photograph on her passport certified that she was indeed lolene Sawyer.
  • To collaborate means to work together on something.
    When they collaborated, they managed to finish their chores early.
  • To compile things means to collect a variety of them into a group.
    She compiled a list of people who she wanted to attend her birthday party.
  • To counteract something means to act against it in order to reduce or stop it.
    Medicine is supposed to counteract illnesses.
  • To curb something means to prevent it from happening or increasing.
    She curbed her anger by listening to a relaxing song.
  • To diagnose someone means to identify the medical condition they have.
    Several of the children were diagnosed with the flu.
  • To enact something means to make it into a law.
    The council enacted a law that would only allow buses to drive downtown.
  • A federation is a group of states or businesses working for a common cause.
    The United Nations is a federation designed to prevent war, disease, and famine.
  • If something is gross, then it is disgusting.
    The food was so gross that the dog couldn’t eat it without feeling sick.
  • If something is humane, then it is good and kind.
    Helping build homes for poor people is very humane.
  • If something is intolerable, then it is so bad that people cannot bear it.
    The weather was so intolerable that I had to put on my warmest clothes.
  • If someone is needy, they are very poor.
    After he lost his job, he became very needy.
  • The onset of something unpleasant is the beginning of it.
    At the onset of the battle, the enemy wasn’t prepared for such a large attack.
  • To pledge means to make a promise to do something.
    Her mother pledged that she would find her daughter’s lost kitten.
  • To prohibit something means to not allow it.
    She prohibited the students from speaking until their work was done.
  • A rash is an infected area of the skin with redness, bumps, itching, or dryness.
    The new perfume left a horrible rash on my skin.
  • To render something means to make it become something else.
    His report was rendered unimportant by the release of new information.
  • Smallpox is a disease that causes tiny bumps on the skin and high fevers.
    When she saw the tiny bumps, she thought her son might have smallpox.
  • To transmit something means to pass it from one person or place to another.
    The radio tower transmits a signal to all the radios in a 20-kilometer radius.
  • To vow means to make a promise to do something.
    Before they are allowed to work, all senators must vow to never accept bribes.

The End of Smallpox

Smallpox was once the most deadly disease in the world. During the 1800s, more than 20 million people got the disease every year. Of those, nearly half died. At the onset of smallpox, people suffered from high fevers, headaches, vomiting, and aching muscles. Yet the worst symptom of all was an intolerable rash that caused irritation on the entire body. Those who survived the disease were often rendered blind or left with gross scars on their face and body.

Today, however, cases of smallpox are very rare due to the work of many countries during the late 1900s. This federation of countries collaborated to completely destroy smallpox. Early in the century, wealthy countries in Europe and North America had developed a substance that made the body immune to smallpox. They had required all their citizens to get this vaccine to counteract the disease. Hence, the people of these countries no longer had to worry about smallpox.

However, many of the needy people in poorer parts of the world still suffered from the disease. Their countries could not afford the vaccine nor supply enough doctors to curb the spread of smallpox. In 1950, the wealthier countries of the world vowed to free the world of the disease. They pledged to supply the vaccine to any country that could not afford it. Scientists compiled lists of areas where the disease still thrived. Then doctors diagnosed people who had the disease in these areas. They enacted laws that prohibited people with smallpox from mixing with those who did not. In this way, they could not transmit the disease to others. Then the doctors gave all of them the vaccine. It took a long time and a lot of work. But nearly thirty years later, on December 9, 1979, a group of scientists certified that smallpox had been successfully stopped. The humane efforts of people from all over the world had accomplished a great task.

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