Comparative Study of Variola and Varicella in Nigeria

Ajose, Oladele A (1939) Comparative Study of Variola and Varicella in Nigeria. MD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
Download (2MB) | Preview


1. Variola and varicella have been known for centuries in Nigeria, though not differentiated as separate entities. 2. Variolisation was practised by some of the tribes. 3. Isolation in the bush far from human dwellings is the general rule observed by most of the tribes. Cases are treated only by the smallpox priest or by someone who has had a previous attack. The same applies to handling of corpses, which are invariably denied burial rites. 4. Difficulties in diagnosis may be met with not only in relation to diseases like typhoid, influenza, pneumonia, measles, but also in relation to diseases like malaria, yellow fever and papular syphilides, which are common. 5. Stress is laid on the careful examination of all skin rashes in the Negro, and the isolation of any doubtful case. 6. The presence of a dark pigmented centre in variola papules is of valuable diagnostic importance when seen. 7. Variola and varicella are diseases of the hot months when people are least likely to crowd together. Fly prevalence, increased facilities for communication between neighbouring villages, aerial convection, and the effect of heat and sunlight on vaccine lymph and vaccination during the hot season are responsible factors for this seasonal incidence. 8. The incidence of variola is higher in African males than females. An even higher incidence of varicella in males is observed. This is due to a greater measure of natural immunity to both diseases in African women than is enjoyed by the men. 9. Variola is not selective as to age. All ages are almost equally affected, though, on account of vaccination, the incidence is now shifted to adult life. Varicella, in contrast, is selective as to age. In cold and temperate climates it is a disease of childhood, but in Nigeria,and probably in other tropical countries, it is a disease of adult life. The immunity enjoyed in childhood is closely related to the high natural immunity in African women. This immunity gradually passes off till it is at a minimum in adult life, when the incidence of varicella is highest. 10. The evolution of the eruption in the Negro is slow, and this is probably related to the texture and pigmentation of the skin.

Item Type: Thesis (MD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Medicine, Epidemiology, Sub Saharan Africa studies
Date of Award: 1939
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1939-80164
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2020 23:45
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2020 23:45

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year