What diseases have been completely eradicated?

Vaccinations: These diseases have been eradicated

Dangerous diseases are still rampant, especially in developing countries. Experts therefore warn that these could also return to us if the vaccination rate falls. We took a closer look at the five most dangerous diseases of the past century.

1. Smallpox

Similar to the corona virus, the smallpox virus was probably once transmitted from animals to humans. Due to its high infectivity and a lethality of around 30 percent, the virus has long been considered one of the most dangerous diseases in the world. Blindness, deafness, paralysis and brain damage were among the dramatic side effects of the disease. Due to a very high vaccination rate, the virus was declared defeated worldwide in the 1970s.

2. Polio

The disease, which is often referred to as polio, can be transmitted by smear or droplet infection and leads to severe, permanent paralysis in those affected. A vaccine has been available since the 1950s, and since then the virus has been considered eradicated in large parts of the world. However, there are always cases: The disease is currently spreading more and more in countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan.

3. Tetanus

In the past, tetanus was a dreaded disease for us. The pathogens can get into the blood through tiny wounds in the skin and release the tetanus poison there. If the symptoms of paralysis are not treated immediately, there is a risk of death from respiratory failure. In Europe, the disease has now been almost completely eradicated, affecting mainly older people who no longer have adequate vaccination protection. The situation is somewhat different worldwide: Countries with a warm, humid climate and a lower vaccination rate are particularly affected.

4. Diphtheria

At the beginning of the 20th century, the infectious disease, which mainly affects the upper respiratory tract, was a common cause of death in children. The infection can be transmitted through droplet and smear infection, but also through scratches after insect bites. The development of a vaccine has been very effective in suppressing the disease. In the meantime, we only have isolated cases. In developing countries that do not have such a high vaccination coverage, the disease can be observed much more frequently.

5. Measles

The dangerous infectious disease occurs mainly in children and was actually almost defeated by us. In order for it to be eradicated, according to scientists, there must be a vaccination rate of 95 percent. In Austria this is currently around 80 percent. Growing skepticism about vaccinations has ensured that the number of cases of illness has risen sharply again in recent years. Complications occur in 20-30 percent of all sick people, pneumonia is one of the most common complications.