Countdown to Zero: Smallpox
by AMNH on
Disease agent: The variola virus
The threat: First-ever disease to be eradicated; the smallpox virus exists only in secure labs.
How infection spreads: From person-to-person contact, through the air, and from contact with infected bodily fluids and objects such as bedding or clothing.
Defeating the disease: The smallpox vaccine, discovered by Edward Jenner in 1796, was the world’s first vaccine. A global immunization effort began in the mid-20th century, led by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Eradication potential: Declared eradicated in 1980.
What does it take to wipe out a disease? Find out in the new exhibition Countdown to Zero: Defeating Disease, which opens on Tuesday, January 13.
The full story appears in the Winter issue of Rotunda, the Member magazine.