(Posted on 15 October 2010)
An ambitious global effort that has brought rinderpest, a deadly cattle plague, to the brink of extinction is ending all field activities, paving the way for official eradication of the disease. The planet is rid of rinderpest, the devastating livestock disease targeted for eradication in the mid-1990s.
“This is the first animal disease virus that’s been eradicated through a vaccination campaign,” and only the second viral disease, after smallpox in 1980, to have been wiped from the earth, says veterinary scientists at the Institute for Animal Health in Pirbright, UK who was involved in the effort. “It is a major achievement.”