The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation announced yesterday that rinderpest, also known as "cattle plague" has been wiped out. It is only the second virus that humans have been able to eradicate (smallpox was killed off 30 years ago). A global plan to eradicate the virus was launched in 1994, and the task was made easier by the fact that there was only one strain of rinderpest, meaning that a single vaccine would suffice to inoculate cattle. A rinderpest outbreak killed 80% to 90% of cattle in southern Africa in the late 19th century but it looks like history won't be repeating itself in this instance. Read more: The Guardian
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