Wednesday, March 31, 2021
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in the 19th century, the international success of the rabies vaccine


Video length: 4 min.


Article written by

A.-C. Lambard, P. Ngankam, Images: Pasteur Institute/Pasteur Museum

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France 3

France Televisions

At the end of the 19th century, you could travel thousands of kilometers to hope to be vaccinated against rabies. France 3 19/20 invites you to relive the history of these adventurers of vaccination.
It was in 1885 that Louis Pasteur discovered the vaccine against rabies. Back then, anyone bitten by a rabid animal only had this serum to hope for a cure. To obtain it, it was necessary to reach Paris in less than ten days, before the disease broke out. Some have traveled by train from Russia, by steamboat from New York or Tunis. This was the case with “Mr. David”, vaccinated against rabies when he was a child, after being bitten by a cat in the streets of Tunis.

Above all, the American press will relay the story of four American boys from Newark. “They had been bitten by a dog, and it was quite extraordinary because the New York Herald newspaper had launched a subscription to finance the trip.”, says Annick Perrot, honorary curator of the Pasteur museum. The epic is then followed by all America and will help to make known the work of Pasteur.

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