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Edward Jenner was born in Berkeley in 1749 Orphaned until he was 5 years old his brothers and sisters wanted him to get involved with medicine He completed his training with the great surgeon John Hunter at St Georges Hospital in London At the age of 23 he returned to Berkeley as the local doctor leaving only to continue smaller practices in London and Cheltenham The Chantry became his home for 38 years From the early days of his career Jenner was interested by country-lore which held that milk-maids who caught the cowpox could not catch smallpox one of the most feared diseases of all time It had been know to kill up to 20 of the population Today smallpox is gone thanks to Edward Jenner On May 14th 1796 a milkmaid Sarah Nelmes came to Jenner with cowpox He devised a brave and dangerous experiment He passed on the disease to James Phipps - his gardeners son - by scratching his skin with infected metal vaccination When James had recovered from the cowpox Jenner tried to give him smallpox James failed to contract the disease Jenner gathered more evidence and published his findings at his own expense in 1798 Despite opposition to his revolutionary ideas his publication - known as the Inquiry - was translated and rapidly passed around the world 170 years later in 1967 the World Health Organization masterminded a final global plan to get rid of smallpox for good Success was announced in 1980 Smallpox was dead Edward Jenners methods and in particular his discovery of vaccination have now developed into one of the most important branches of modern medicine - Immunology This science helps the world to fight and treat many infectious diseases and mainly to understand transplantation allergies and diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and AIDS In addition to this profound discovery Jenner made
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