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18 June 2014
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Legacies - Gloucestershire

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Myths and Legends
From myth to legend

Smallpox today

Cow and calf
Who would have thought that cows would bring the solution
The World Health Organisation began a campaign to eradicate smallpox 179 years after the epidemic in Gloucester; by 1977 the disease had disappeared, and in 1980 it was recommended, by the WHO, that vaccinations should be stopped and all laboratory stocks of the virus were destroyed. One of the world's biggest killer diseases had been halted.

This leap from myth and folklore to medical miracle has saved the lives of thousands, and luckily Jenner preferred the rural life to that of a celebrity surgeon in London. By placing his trust in the folklore of his hometown he became a legend in his own right by turning myth into fact.


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