The End of Smallpox

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Only one human disease has ever been completely eradicated: Smallpox. Smallpox was around for more than 3,000 years and killed at least 300 million people in the 20th century. Then, by 1980, it was gone.

Rahima Banu was the last person in the world to have the deadliest form of smallpox. In 1975, Banu was a toddler growing up in a remote village in Bangladesh when she developed the telltale bumpy rash. Soon, public health workers from around the world showed up at her home to try to keep the virus from spreading. This is her story.

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