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Article
How Smallpox Became a "Suitable Candidate for Global Eradication"
Ageless Arts: The Journal of the Southern Association for the History of Medicine and Science (2015)
  • Bob H. Reinhardt, Western Oregon University
Abstract
This article explains how a shifting ecological consciousness after World War II led to the definition of smallpox as a “suitable candidate for global eradication.” Postwar transportation technologies and international institutions created a global environment in which disease eradication, rather than control, became the goal of international health authorities. They first targeted malaria, inspired by the power of dichloro diphenyl trichloroethane (DDT) to rationalize environments. As that power faltered and the hazards of DDT became better known, the public and some health experts questioned the wisdom of efforts to master environments. Smallpox, though, lived only in human bodies and was vulnerable to an effective, modern, and industrialized vaccine. And so efforts to master the nonhuman natural world shifted from malarial environments to smallpox-infected human bodies. 
Publication Date
2015
Citation Information
Bob H. Reinhardt. "How Smallpox Became a "Suitable Candidate for Global Eradication"" Ageless Arts: The Journal of the Southern Association for the History of Medicine and Science Vol. 1 (2015) p. 171 - 194
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/bob-reinhardt/7/