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I missed this news last month. For the second time in
history, human beings have eradicated a disease altogether. This
time it is rinderpest, which people cannot get, only cattle so it's
not such big news as smallpox or (soon?) polio.
It's still good news.
Dr Peter Roeder, who was Secretary of the
Global Rinderpest Eradication Programme from 2000 to 2007,
commented: "Once a dream, rinderpest eradication is now a reality.
Not only does this magnificent achievement help to protect the
livelihoods of many millions of livestock-dependent farmers but,
because it removes a serious constraint to livestock trade, it has
a major positive impact on many countries' economies. If we can
truly learn the lessons from rinderpest eradication there is no
reason why we couldn't see other diseases brought to global
extinction with similar pro-poor and economic impact."