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September 13, 1952


JAMA. 1952;150(2):151. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.03680020085017

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Eradication of Smallpox.  —Since the year 1520, when the first smallpox epidemic occurred, this disease has been endemic in Mexico, and every year it has caused a high number of deaths. To deal with this problem, the federal health authorities organized a permanent antismallpox campaign, which had, as its main purpose, compulsory universal vaccination. As a result the mortality indexes decreased; in 1930 there were 17,000 deaths due to smallpox; by 1935, 5,000; and in 1945, only 1,000. Finally, last June, came the announcement that in the previous 14 months not a single death from smallpox had been registered and that the immunity of the general population was considered higher than 65%. With this announcement came a letter of congratulation from President Alemán to those who had participated in the campaign, which will continue indefinitely. Tribute was also paid to three technicians who died in the fulfillment of their duties

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