My word of the day: variolation

I saw a quote on Facebook from Benjamin Franklin about the importance of vaccination. It seemed too good to be real, so I researched it and found out the quote was legit. And, while researching, I learned a new word: variolation. It’s the process of inoculating an uninfected person with scabs or pus from a person infected with smallpox as a protection against the severe form. Apparently this had started in the mid-1500s in China and then spread to other areas. Sometimes they would blow a powder made of dried scabs into a person’s nose. Other times they would cut into a person’s skin and then place a scab into the cut and bind it there for a week.

I’m all for vaccinations, but thank goodness for hypodermic needles.

The first time I ever heard of it was in an episode of Last Man Standing.