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Defeated disease – smallpox and polio

The deadly disease Ebola is currently hitting the headlines and scientists are desperately battling to find a cure. They can take comfort from the fact that many other virulent diseases have now been completely eradicated or virtually defeated, including smallpox and polio. Smallpox Smallpox was an extremely contagious viral disease which had a mortality rate of around a third of infected patients. Symptoms included a red, raised rash that turned into large blisters and survivors often suffered blindness and scarring. […]