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Rinderpest eradicated

Researchers at the UN said on Friday that rinderpest, a virus that causes devastating cattle plague, has been wiped out, the first time such an announcement has been made since the end of smallpox more than 30 years ago.

world Updated: Oct 16, 2010 00:59 IST

Researchers at the UN said on Friday that rinderpest, a virus that causes devastating cattle plague, has been wiped out, the first time such an announcement has been made since the end of smallpox more than 30 years ago.

John Anderson, the head of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation, called the success “the biggest achievement of veterinary history”. Rinderpest is the first animal virus to be contained and then eradicated in the wild.

The virus causes respiratory disease and gut problems that lead to diarrhoea, dehydration and eventually death.