Sunday, November 21, 2010

Good riddance, Rinderpest

This was reported in Futurific Leading Indicators, an extremely expensive report I subscribe to that is well worth it for its use of the word futurific alone:

"In only the second elimination of a disease in history [smallpox famously being the other, in 1980], rinderpest - a virus that used to kill cattle by the millions, leading to famine and death among humans - has been declared wiped off the face of the earth. Rinderpest, which means "cattle plague" in German, does not infect humans … but for millennia in Asia, Europe and Africa it wiped out cattle, water buffalo, yaks and other animals needed for meat, milk, plowing and cart-pulling."

"The official ceremony in which the World Organization for Animal Health will declare the world rinderpest-free is scheduled for May. (That organization … was created in 1929 chiefly to fight rinderpest.) … 'This is something the entire global community can be proud of,' said Dr. William R. White, director of the United States Department of Agriculture's foreign animal disease diagnostic laboratory on Plum Island, New York."

This image should help you visualize rinderpest. Unfortunately, in real life, it looks much more boring: you can see it here on Wikipedia.


James said...

how suiting... the cell structure of the disease actually looks like a farm.

Unknown said...

I would like to know the origin of the whimsical microscopic image of Rinderpest that you have on your Blog.

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