World Health Organization's media centre
June 18, 2010
In 1980, nothing short of a medical miracle occurred. Variola major and Variola minor, the two viruses responsible for causing smallpox, were no longer found wild anywhere on the earth.
|Congolese residents receiving a smallpox inoculation|
This interview, conducted thirty years after the eradication program's successful conclusion, addresses not only the medical history of the eradication effort, but the communications challenges while the program was in full swing. Without social media, the Internet and only spotty telephone coverage in some of the more remote areas, the program workers were able to use rumor, oral story telling and other non-technical methods of communication to track down and eliminate one of the deadliest diseases know to mankind.
Tom Iovino, Public Information Specialist
Pinellas County, Florida