Today, May 8, 2018 is the 38th anniversary of the World Health Organization’s proclamation of a smallpox-free world. The photo above is the commemorative medallion presented to my husband for his part in eradicating that terrifying scourge.
I’m posting this brief note before my next regular post just to mark that moment in time. An emotional one to those of us who moved to the far corners of the globe, as the workers or as family, in pursuit of smallpox eradication.
The last case of naturally acquired smallpox surfaced in 1977. But the World Health Organization scoured every nook and cranny of the planet to make sure no other case was lurking, hidden, before certifying that smallpox had been eradicated.
This is a good time to read the following interview with Dr. Bill Foege, the genius behind the method that made eradication possible. He is a true public health icon, but is a compassionate and humble man who resists that label.
Thanks for joining me today in observing this anniversary. Watch for my regular blog post tomorrow.