For the second time in history, an infectious disease has been eradicated. In 1979, smallpox was the first disease to be successfully wiped away. Now, a little-known disease called rinderpest is now joining the list. Rinderpest means "cattle plague" in German, and is a relative of the measles virus that infects cattle, deer, and other hoofed animals. The most virulent strains killed 95 percent of the herds they attacked, which was life-threatening for any society dependent on cattle. It has been blamed for speeding the fall of the Roman Empire.
Donald McNeil, is a science and health reporter for The New York Times, and he has more on this newly eradicated disease.