[extropy-chat] Are vaccinations useless?

Damien Sullivan phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu
Thu Mar 16 18:05:19 UTC 2006

On Thu, Mar 16, 2006 at 12:58:24PM -0500, 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?

Wikipedia has quaranting practices in the 1200s, and maybe before if you go
back to putting bells on lepers.  Whether the practices were effective I'm not
sure, but if avoidance and isolation behavior work you wouldn't need germ
theory to evolve them.

OTOH, we don't put red dots on the foreheads of people with HIV or herpes or
what not, to tell people not to have sex with them unless they themselves have
the dot.  So one could argue quarantine still isn't common, but used fitfully.

-xx- Damien X-) 

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