- historical event: The dangerous contagious disease smallpox (variola) is the first and so far only human infectious disease humanity has managed to completely eradicate. Currently, there is not a single infected person in the world. The smallpox virus exists only in laboratories.
On this day in 1979, a group of prominent scientists announced to the world the eradication of the smallpox (variola) disease. It is the first and so far the only human infectious disease humanity has managed to completely eradicate. It is a virus that attacks only people, and currently there is not a single infected person in the world. The smallpox virus still exists only in laboratories. Today, routine vaccination of people is discontinued, so it is considered that this virus could be a dangerous terrorist weapon.
In the past, the mortality rate of the virus was as much as 20-60%, and in children more than 80%. Survivors, in most cases, permanently wore heavy scars on the skin. The disease also caused blindness, so it is calculated that a third of all blind people in the past were blinded by smallpox. Many famous people in history died of smallpox, among them five ruling kings and queens in the 18th century. Especially high was the mortality among the native population after the discovery of America, because they had no immunity to the disease that was brought by the Europeans. There are theories that the abundant use of makeup in men and women in the 18th century originated from the need to conceal the scars on their faces.