In only the second elimination of a disease in history, rinderpest — a virus that used to kill cattle by the millions, leading to famine and death among humans — has been declared wiped off the face of the earth.
Rinderpest, which means “cattle plague” in German, does not infect humans, though it belongs to the same viral family as measles. But for millenniums in Asia, Europe and Africa it wiped out cattle, water buffalo, yaks and other animals needed for meat, milk, plowing and cart-pulling.
First smallpox. Then Rinderpest. Another victory for immunization.