[extropy-chat] Are vaccinations useless?

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Thu Mar 16 18:05:00 UTC 2006

On 3/16/06, Keith Henson wrote:
> If we did not have a vaccine against smallpox what would we do?
> I cite SARS as an example where the only course available for stopping it
> was quarantine.
> Anyone know when quarantine came to be common?


History of Quarantine

The practice of quarantine, as we know it, began during the fourteenth
century in an effort to protect coastal cities from plague epidemics.
Ships arriving in Venice from infected ports were required to sit at
anchor for forty days before landing. This practice, called
quarantine, was derived from the Italian words quaranta giorni which
mean 40 days.
When the United States was first established, little was done to
prevent the importation of infectious diseases. Protection against
imported diseases was considered a local matter and handled by the
colonies. While sporadic attempts were made to impose quarantine
requirements, it was the continued yellow fever epidemics that led to
the passage of Federal Quarantine Legislation by Congress in 1878.


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