Part 3 of 5: Learn about how Edward Jenner's cow pox vaccine did nothing to stop the spread of small pox, but in fact was making things worse.
Cow pox was a fairly innocuous disease you could get from milking cows. Your hands would develop pock marks on them, similar to the spots of small pox, but it was rarely fatal. Some Dairy maids believed in a legend that if you caught the cow pox, it would protect you from the small pox. Given the word play people were so fond of at the time, you can understand how this superstition took hold. Hound bite. Hound’s tongue. Cow pox. Small pox. Edward Jenner, a struggling Surgeon and Apothecary, had been practicing for 20 years with no formal medical certifications. He had heard rumor of the cow-pox protects small-pox tale, and being an obvious fan of the like cures like superstitions of the day with his hydrophobia/drowning cure, he brought it up at a medical society meeting. They laughed at him, all of them having seen hundreds of cases where small pox had infected people who had previously had cow pox. They knew it to be as ridiculous as his hydrophobia cure.