Smallpox diagnosis kit, London, 1965-1970

Made:
1965-1970 in London
maker:
Central Public Health Laboratory

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Box for outfit for taking specimens for the diagnosis of smallpox, with Virus Reference Laboratory form, 1965-70.

Early diagnosis of smallpox helped 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. They may have been consistent with a stage in the development of smallpox. The rubber teat and capillary tubes also collected any fluid from the skin. The samples were sent by post to the Virus Reference Laboratory at the Central Public Laboratory in London. The results could take between two and 72 hours.

Once a major global killer, smallpox is the only disease to have been completely eradicated by a sustained immunisation programme.

Details

Category:
Public Health & Hygiene
Object Number:
1999-983
Materials:
glass, metal and paper
Measurements:
box: 92 mm x 137 mm x 98 mm, .3 kg
Gold top glass container: 84 mm 27 mm, .16 kg
cork top container: 59 mm 12 mm, .02 kg
Silver top glass container: 50 mm 18 mm, .04 kg
Main metal container: 115 mm 65 mm, .24 kg
type:
smallpox diagnosis kit
credit:
Institute of Medical Laboratory Sciences