What Do We Know About Smallpox, Microbes?

Armen Hareyan's picture

A survey by Society for General Microbiology revealed knowledge of general public about smallpox and microbes. The poll questioned 200 individuals and found that 87% of them unaware that smallpox is now extinct. However, most of them know a lot about microbes.

Smallpox is a deadly disease that killed 300-500 million people during the 20th century. For example, only in 1967 15 million people were smallpox infected, 2 million of them died. However, thanks to World Health Organization worldwide vaccination campaign, the disease was stopped in 1979.


The survey also found people are greatly informed about microorganisms. Some 3/4 of questioned knew that microbes are used in medicine making industry, some 65% knew can be silently living in volcanoes, 54% knew bacteria can attack oil platforms, 44% even knew that microbes can promote fermentation of cacao beans in chocolate making industry.

Most of those who were aware of smallpox and microorganisms were people of older ages. Individuals aged from 19 to 24 were 40% unaware of these questions at all.

Survey urges the importance of educating young people about how diseases occur. The fight against smallpox and the fact that scientists finally stopped are to remind people that scientists can beat diseases, but they need strong support from public. Every single recommended vaccine needs to be widely and properly implemented to help the worldwide fight against deadly diseases.