Smallpox was the first disease and so far the only infectious disease that has been eradicated. It became the first disease for which there was an effective vaccine in 1798. Smallpox is a fatal disease that killed 3 out of 10 people who are infected.
Disease That Has Been Cured
According to research, smallpox caused the deaths of hundreds of millions of people before it was eradicated, said Dr. Aaron Glatt, an infectious disease specialist, and epidemiologist at South Nassau Communities Hospital in New York. Back in the time, smallpox has destroyed so many lives in the past, but now smallpox is not considered a threat. All thanks to the Worldwide Immunization that has completely eradicated the disease in 1977.
Disease Eradicated by Vaccines
The first smallpox immunization was created by Edward Jenner in 1796. But it took more than 200 years and a worldwide vaccination program to eradicate the virus. The last known naturally occurring case of smallpox was diagnosed on October 26, 1977, in Merka, Somalia, according to the CDC. An estimated 300 million people around the world died from smallpox in the 20th century. This is because smallpox was a fatality rate of around 30% in unvaccinated individuals, the CDC added. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared smallpox eradicated in 1980.
1. Does Smallpox Still Exist?
- A. Yes
- B. No
“It was eradicated solely through vaccination. We do not really have any treatments even today for smallpox that are proven, tried and tested,” Dr. Glatt said.
List of Eradicated Disease
- Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)
- Lymphatic Filariasis
- African Trypanosomiasis
Smallpox was the first disease to be cured but the above list is the viruses that have been cured after smallpox.