Pox across the water
September 18, 2017 9:15 PM Subscribe
As the 1800s dawned, 22 orphans boarded a Spanish ship, under the care of their orphanage director and a team of doctors and nurses. As they set sail across the Atlantic, the plan was set in motion: they infected one of the children with cowpox. Over the following months, they passed the virus from one child to the other, in carefully spaced succession, to create a living transmission chain that would reach the Americas. They thus carried the smallpox vaccine to the new world in what became known as the Balmis Expedition.
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