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Smallpox deaths in Berlin and Copenhagen 1750-1823

From 1750 to 1770, the number of smallpox deaths in Berlin and Copenhagen fluctuated greatly, varying from as few as four deaths per year to over 1,000 throughout this time. In Copenhagen, the fluctuation came at regular and consistent intervals until the 1770s, when the number of smallpox deaths no longer reached more than 500 per year; this was due to the widespread adoption of inoculation practices in Scandinavia during this time. When vaccination was introduced to Copenhagen at the turn of the nineteenth century, the number of smallpox deaths per year plummeted, and following Denmark's introduction of mandatory vaccination (for all people who had never been infected) there were no more recorded cases of smallpox in Copenhagen for the remainder of the years shown.

Contrast in Berlin

In Berlin (which was the capital of Prussia during this time), the number of smallpox deaths continued to fluctuate throughout the remainder of the nineteenth century (at least in the years where data is available). Inoculation was not as widespread throughout the late 1800s as it was in Copenhagen, and vaccination was not made compulsory in Prussia until 1874; because of this, we can see a great discrepancy in the number of smallpox deaths, and severity of epidemics, in both cities during this time. For example, Berlin had almost four times the number of smallpox deaths than Copenhagen, while the population was just 1.7 times larger.

Number of smallpox deaths in Berlin and Copenhagen between 1750 and 1823

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Source

Release date

2018

Region

Denmark, Germany (Berlin)

Survey time period

1750 to 1823

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Statistics on "Smallpox"

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Topics

Smallpox
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