Smallpox. Along with cholera, rickets and other indignities, it was once considered a rite of passage for many humans to suffer this killer disease with its 30 per cent death rate and legacy of pock marked faces for survivors. Those were the days.
Days to which anti-vaccine fundamentalists want to take us back. Many of them are fans of discredited and struck-off British doctor Andrew Wakefield whose "research" into the MMR vaccine was declared fraudulent by the British Medical Journal in 2011. Some people are just beyond reason.
So it's hats off to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and their decision in 1959 to initiate a plan to rid the world of smallpox. At first this global eradication campaign suffered from lack of funds, personnel and commitment from countries, as well as a shortage of vaccine donations but at long last in 1980 WHO was able to declare the world free of this devastating disease.
It was dead as a Dodo...
It is no more.
It has ceased to be.
It's expired and gone to meet its maker.
It's a stiff.
Bereft of life, it rests in peace.
Its metabolic processes are now history.
It's kicked the bucket.
It's shuffled off this mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleeding choir invisible.
THIS IS AN EX-DISEASE.