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From the World Health Organization
March 6, 2002

Smallpox Revisited

JAMA. 2002;287(9):1104. doi:10.1001/jama.287.9.1104

The global eradication of smallpox, certified in 1979, is one of the greatest public health achievements in history. It marked the end of a disease that in the past had killed 3 million people every year and scarred or blinded millions more. It also commemorated a decade, during the Cold War, when all countries united behind a common humanitarian cause. The United States was the largest donor and provided major logistic and staff support. The Soviet Union was the largest supplier of vaccine.