Little-Known Disease Rinderpest is Eliminated

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

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.


Donald G. McNeil, Jr.

Produced by:

David J Fazekas

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