Friday, June 10, 2011

Rinderpest R.I.P.

Rinderpest joins smallpox in the elite club of eradicated diseases. (H/t.)

According to John Reader, rinderpest killed 90-95% of all the cattle in Africa over the period 1889-1905 or so: "described as the greatest natural calamity ever to befall the African continent." One observer thought 2/3 of the Masai people died as a result, and similar famine struck many other African peoples.

Polio and Guinea worm disease are the next diseases likely to be wiped out. There are still 1000 to 1600 polio cases a year, mostly in Nigeria and south-central Asia.

1 comment:

  1. Truly good news. Hopefully polio will follow within a few years.