Medicine and Disease in Canada: The Smallpox Epidemic

As news of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa continues to grip the world, fears in North America are on the rise after two nurses were infected while treating a patient at Presbyterian hospital in Dallas, Texas. Thus far, the viral hemorrhagic fever has claimed around 4,500 people, mostly in Liberia, neighbouring Sierra Leone and Guinea, and this recent news out of Dallas adds to concerns because the virus eluded the precautions of top US health officials. In Canada, the government announced that it will commit an additional $35 million to the World Health Organization, the United Nations and humanitarian aid groups working the effected regions. These funds will provide necessary health equipment such as mobile labs, and will contribute to an increased international effort and containment strategy to help local authorities in the effected African regions limit the spread of Ebola. While Clio’s Current is certainly not in a position to comment on the dangers of Ebola or the potentiality of an outbreak in Canada, we can provide a snapshot of one disease that has left a historical footprint on our nation.

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