Thursday, October 14, 2010

Man: 2 Viruses: Millions

Smallpox Virus. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Scientists are reporting that the rinderpest virus has been wiped out. This marks the second virus to be eradicated by humans, the first was smallpox. Although, its not really eradicated because scientists, governments, and god knows who else have samples of small pox, and I'm sure will keep samples of rinderpest too. The BBC Article: Rinderpest virus has been wiped out, scientists say.

According to the BBC article, rinderpest killed cattle in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Most notably in the mid 19th Century it caused the death of 80%-90% of African cattle and buffalo. Fun fact that I learned from this story: there are buffalo in Africa. Who knew?

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