R.I.P. Donald Henderson

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R.I.P. Donald Henderson

Postby Arneb » Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:12 pm

On Friday, the man who rid the world of smallpox died.

A doctor and epidemiologist, he joined the WHO smallpox program amd developed the concept of the ring inoculation - the focus lay on identifying and inoculating the contacs of infected persons first, doing surveillance on them and inoculation their contats, in turn, if one of them fell ill.

With 2.4 billion inoculation doses and 200,000 helpers, he spent 300 million before the last smallpox case in 1977 and the declaration that the world was free of smallpox in 1980.

I say this was a life well lived, and a very, very good deal for the world.
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Re: R.I.P. Donald Henderson

Postby Enzo » Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:44 pm

Hats off to him.

I have seen smallpox erased in my lifetime, and polio has come close. I still have hope there. It was going well until Nigeria got the notion the vaccine was some sort of CIA plot, and now the disease is rebounding there, at least that is my understanding, Doc can correct me if not. Also in Afghan- and Paki-stans.

Polio was such a big deal in the 1950s. When the Salk vaccine came out, they herded us in school down to the big room, and marched us across the stage to one by one take an injection. Not happy we little grade schoolers. The oral vaccine came out later, popularly know as the "sugar cube" vaccine.

"Iron lungs" were an image we all saw at the time, and I will never forget.
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Re: R.I.P. Donald Henderson

Postby Lance » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:28 pm

Too bad all those vaccines give people autism.
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Re: R.I.P. Donald Henderson

Postby tubeswell » Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:36 am

I thought they didn't actually get rid of all the smallpox, but kept some stored away for future reference, or something like that?
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Re: R.I.P. Donald Henderson

Postby Arneb » Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:50 am

tubeswell wrote:I thought they didn't actually get rid of all the smallpox, but kept some stored away for future reference, or something like that?

That's true. They have deep-frozen samples in high-security labs un the U.S. and Russia. There is an on-off discussion to destroy the samples in order to REALLY get rid of smallpox and eliminate any risk of the virus escaping. As usual, "you-first, you-first", "what wid dem dayumned tarrists" and "National Security" mechanisms honed and sharpened in the Cold War and afterwards apply.
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Re: R.I.P. Donald Henderson

Postby Heid the Ba » Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:17 am

Bravo Dr Henderson! Given the very Scots name we'll claim him as one of ours.

Enzo wrote:I still have hope there. It was going well until Nigeria got the notion the vaccine was some sort of CIA plot, and now the disease is rebounding there, at least that is my understanding, Doc can correct me if not. Also in Afghan- and Paki-stans.

I think you are right as it is thought, rightly or wrongly, that Bin Laden was traced by fake WHO vaccination teams. Or real teams with an ulterior motive. Or something.

The Mem has an aunt who has a limp due to childhood polio, she was born in the 1950s.
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