Reading Comprehension Quiz

[A new interlinear poem will be available each Monday: Weekly Interlinear Poem .]

Use the dictionary, the acronym finder, and the word origins dictionary (links above) as needed. A new quiz is available each Monday through Thursday. This is the quiz for October 29.

Edward Jenner (died 1823), inventor of smallpox vaccine

Noting the common observation that milkmaids did not generally get smallpox, Jenner theorized that the pus in the blisters that milkmaids received from cowpox, which is a disease similar to smallpox but much less virulent, protected the milkmaids from smallpox. He may have had the advantage of hearing stories of Benjamin Jesty and perhaps others deliberately arranging cowpox infection of their families and of a reduced risk in those families.

On May 14, 1796, Jenner tested his theory by inoculating James Phipps, a young boy of 8 years old, with material from the cowpox blisters of the hand of a milkmaid who had caught cowpox from a cow called Blossom, whose hide hangs on the wall of the library at St. George's Medical School in commemoration of one of the school's most renowned alumni.

Jenner inoculated Phipps with cowpox pus in both arms by scraping the pus from the milkmaid's blisters onto a piece of wood and then transferring this to Phipps' arms. This produced a fever and some uneasiness but no great illness. Later, he injected Phipps with variolous material, which would have been the routine attempt to produce immunity at that time. No disease followed. Jenner reported that later the boy was again challenged with variolacious material and again showed no sign of infection.

1. Variolous means
A. relating to smallpox.
B. various germs.
C. infection.
D. pus.
2. Jenner used reason to understand the health of
A. cows.
B. milkmaids.
C. boys.
D. James Phillips.
3. Blossom was
A. a daughter of Benjamin Jesty.
B. an alumnus of a medical school.
C. a milkmaid.
D. a cow.
4. The Latin origin of virulent meant
A. stormy.
B. extreme.
C. poison.
D. widespread.

The information comes from Wikipedia.

Write down your answers and then see Answer Key below.

Answer Key: 1-A..........2-B..........3-D..........4-C
Corrections? Questions? Comments? E-mail Robert Jackson at