First Smallpox, now Rinderpest

You may have seen the debate in the press about the last remaining stocks of smallpox virus. Because smallpox is extinct in the wild and inoculation against it stopped in 1979, it has been suggested that the few laboratories that hold supplies of it destroy them once and for all. Since there hasn’t been a confirmed case of smallpox since then, it would make sense to do that, both from a risk perspective and a financial one. Nevertheless, the decision made was to keep the stocks.
Another disease has now been declared eradicated. Rinderpest, a livestock disease with a fatality rate of 80% has been eliminated. Known since the days of Ancient Rome, over the centuries it was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of millions of heads of cattle. An AFP report lists vaccines and routine surveillance as the main factors in Rinderpest’s elimination.
This is great news. The destruction of cattle wrought by rinderpest has resulted in numerous famines, and even wars. Once again, vaccines have killed off a terrible illness.

Rinderpest Virus

A picture of the Rinderpest virus

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I am a Software Test Analyst. Shortly before I turned 21 I was officially diagnosed, although I had long suspected I was autistic. Welcome to my blog
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