Smallpox diagnosis kit, London, 1970-1979

1970-1979 in London
Central Public Health Laboratory

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Smallpox diagnosis kit for collecting samples from suspected British cases of smallpox, for identification at the Central Public Health Laboratory, 1970s'.

Early diagnosis of smallpox is one way of helping to prevent the spread of the disease. This kit was used by doctors in general practice surgeries and by school nurses. Samples were taken from skin complaints, including rashes, pustules and scabs which may have been consistent with a stage in the development of smallpox. Any fluid from the skin was collected using the rubber teat and capillary tubes.

The samples were sent by post to the Virus Reference Laboratory at the Central Public Laboratory in London. It could take anywhere between two and 72 hours for the results of any tests to be known.


Public Health & Hygiene
Object Number:
cardboard, cork, glass, metal, paper and plastic
slide box: 10 mm x 83 mm x 39 mm,
slide container: 88 mm x 30 mm x 17 mm,
glass container, gold lid: 85 mm 30 mm,
vial with rubber teat: 75 mm 12 mm,
vial for needle: 85 mm 13 mm,
metal container: 119 mm 63 mm,
glass container, silver lid: 51 mm 22 mm,
yellow slip: 104 mm x 74 mm
application form: 209 mm x 149 mm
instructions: 252 mm x 203 mm
overall weight: .22kg
diagnosis kit
Public Health Laboratory Service

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