Smallpox Eradication in India, 1972-1977

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India Engages the Pandemic

The Indian subcontinent has long been regarded as the probable place where smallpox originated.  (Fenner 712) The disease was described in early Indian writings (1500 BCE) and enshrined in Hindu religious beliefs where it has its own deity, Shitala, the “cooling mother”, to which many shrines are devoted.