The first serious outbreak of smallpox occurred in Rome in AD 165. It is estimated that in a fifteen year period about a third of Rome's population died of the disease. Smallpox first arrived in England in the 16th century. Symptoms include fever and skin-eruptions. If patients recovered they suffered permanent scaring of the skin. In the 18th century smallpox was responsible for more than 10% of all deaths. About 15% of people who caught smallpox died of the disease. In 1796 Edward Jenner made the first successful vaccination against the disease. In the 19th century vaccination provided a highly effective means for controlling the disease. Smallpox has now been eradicated throughout the world.
The registered mortality from all specified diseases in England and Wales was, during the year 1838, 282,940, or 18 per thousand of the population. These deaths are exclusive of the deaths from old age, which amounted to 35,564, and the deaths from violence, which amounted to 12,055. The deaths from causes not specified were 11,970. The total amount of deaths was 342,529 for that year. In the year following the total deaths were 338,979, of which the registered deaths from old age were 35,063, and the deaths from violence 11,980. The proportion of deaths for the whole population was 21 per thousand.
The annual slaughter in England and Wales from preventable causes of typhus which attacks persons in the vigour of life, appears to be double the amount of what was suffered by the Allied Armies in the battle of Waterloo.