Monday, October 26, 2009

32 Years Without Small Pox

It has been 32 years since a case of Small Pox was last diagnosed.  According to Wikipedia:
The last naturally occurring case of indigenous smallpox (Variola minor) was diagnosed in Ali Maow Maalin, a hospital cook in Merca, Somalia, on 26 October 1977. The last naturally occurring case of the more deadly Variola major had been detected in October 1975 in a two-year-old Bangladeshi girl, Rahima Banu.
We have heard a lot about vaccines in the last few years.  The fact is: vaccines work. The Variola major version of Small Pox has (had?) a mortality rate of 30-35% - out of every three people who got the virus, one died.  In the 20th century, it is estimated that 300-500 million deaths were caused by small pox.  Because of the small pox vaccine, no one gets this disease. Anywhere in the world.

(Image: wikimedia commons)

Via An Anniversary Worth Celebrating – Neatorama

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