When was the last smallpox outbreak in the UK?
In the 20th century alone around 300million people died from the disease. But a global vaccination programme led by the World Health Organization (WHO) was carried out to wipe out the disease, and by the 1970s cases were rare. The last case in the UK was seen five years before Janet Parker was infected.
Who was the last person to die from smallpox?
As she lay in her hospital bed, on 5 September her father Frederick, 77, died from an apparent cardiac arrest while in quarantine, thought to have been brought on by the stress of his daughter’s illness. However, no post-mortem examination was ever carried out due to the risk the smallpox infection posed.
When was the first recorded case of smallpox?
Smallpox is thought to date back to the Egyptian Empire around the 3 rd century BCE (Before Common Era), based on a smallpox-like rash found on three mummies. The earliest written description of a disease that clearly resembles smallpox appeared in China in the 4 th century CE (Common Era).
When was the World declared free of smallpox?
World Free of Smallpox. Almost two centuries after Jenner published his hope that vaccination could annihilate smallpox, on May 8, 1980, the 33 rd World Health Assembly officially declared the world free of this disease. Eradication of smallpox is considered the biggest achievement in international public health.
What was the last reported case of smallpox?
Through a sophisticated global vaccination campaign, the World Health Organization officially declared in 1980 that smallpox had been eliminated worldwide. The last known case of smallpox in the United States occurred in 1949, and the last case of naturally occurring smallpox was reported in 1977 in Somalia.
Janet Parker (March 1938 – 11 September 1978) was a British medical photographer who became the last person to die from smallpox. She was exposed to the virus as a result of a laboratory accident at the University of Birmingham Medical School.
Why was smallpox so deadly?
One of the reasons smallpox was so dangerous and deadly is because it’s an airborne disease. Airborne diseases tend to spread fast. Coughing, sneezing, or direct contact with any bodily fluids could spread the smallpox virus. In addition, sharing contaminated clothing or bedding could lead to infection.
When was the last death of smallpox?
The last cases of smallpox in the world occurred in an outbreak of two cases (one of which was fatal) in Birmingham, United Kingdom, in 1978. A medical photographer, Janet Parker , contracted the disease at the University of Birmingham Medical School and died on 11 September 1978.