Last smallpox major case, 25 years later

Last smallpox major case, 25 years later

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Credit: CDC/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Last smallpox major case. Image 2 of 2. This is Rahima Banu, photographed in 2000 with her baby, 25 years after she contracted one of the last known natural infections of smallpox. Her case was reported on 16 October 1975 in Bangladesh. Smallpox is a potentially fatal infection by the Variola virus. Banu contracted the more deadly form, Variola major, but her youth (she was only 2 years old at the time) helped her both survive and avoid heavy scarring from the pustular rash (some scarring is seen on her face). Smallpox killed millions during the 20th century. A World Health Organisation vaccination campaign successfully eradicated the disease by 1979. For an image of Banu infected as a child, see image N536/034.

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