In recent times, due to the recent spate of technology, it is easy to prevent diseases. By just going through the Names Of Diseases Eradicated In The 20th Century you would be surprised. Even, if the symptoms are fatal, technology has advanced to the level, where an affected person can extend his/her life for a certain period of time. But it was not so before two centuries. Agreed, for many simple diseases our ancient system had the cure. But when plague or epidemic spread in India, it killed thousands of people. Large swarms of population migrated from one area to the other to escape from the epidemic. In this article, you get to know about some diseases eradicated in the 20th century.
Please note that the term “eradication” is different from elimination. Eradication means the number of infected individuals has come to zero. Or the spread of disease has gone down to a negligible amount. Elimination means that the disease’s name is stricken off the face of Mother Earth.
In this article, we come to know about some destructive diseases. They caused loss of life in millions. But you can heave a sigh of relief as their threat does not loom any longer on the horizon. The status of the diseases mentioned below are –
Diseases eradicated – rinderpest and smallpox
Eradications steps and Medicine for Diseases that are underway – dracunculiasis (guinea worm) and poliomyelitis (polio)
Eliminated from region of origination or the eradication process is underway – There are more diseases. So, take note. Measles, hookworm, malaria, lymphatic filariasis, yaws, onchocerciasis, rubella and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).
1. Small Pox
Yes, it is a surprise that this disease which has the word “small” has killed millions and affected many others. As per a survey, smallpox victims number had gone to 4 lakhs in the 18th century for Europe. Just imagine the population. The total number of individuals in the continent must have been 200 million. In fact, smallpox accounted for seven percent of the deaths in Europe in the same time.
But today, smallpox is long forgotten. The last case was in Somalia in the year 1977. In fact, the disease is “eradicated” in the year 1979. Only in some parts of Africa, was the disease last seen. The main reason, that it took such a long time was that some parts of the world were not accessible in those years. And yes, it was also because of ineffective vaccination strategy put by regional Governments at that time.
The name may make you scratch the brain cells in dismay, but it was the first disease in animals to get the eradication stamp. The disease affected animals such as buffalo and cattle. The symptoms were oral erosions, fever, diarrhea and the last being death. The rates of loss of life in cattle during the outbreak was very high.
The claim for the positive results goes to Global Rinderpest Eradication Programme (GREP) from the FAO. The team worked consistently for decades to prevention of the disease. It was in 2011, that the eradication stamp was laid for Rinderpest.
It was a common sight to see children affected by polio in the developing countries during the 1970s. It is a pity that this disease completely shattered the lives of an individual right from a young age. In general terms, the names are polio, infantile paralysis. The WHO hopes to eradicate this disease from the global human race in a short period. It first affects the legs. The muscles become weak for a few hours or days. Unless given vaccination, they lose the power in the legs and become crippled. In other words, the disease converted people to temporary cripples or permanently disabled individuals. The reduction in the cases came when polio vaccine got distributed in the 1950s.
4. Guinea Worm Disease
It is caused by a parasite, known as the guinea worm. The worm navigates via the host tissue and emerges from feet. Though not fatal, it can make an individual sick for months and suffer from severe pain. The disease has gone down in numbers right from the late 1980s.
You swat mosquitoes in two hands. But the same insect fly caused millions of death in the 20th century. Will you believe it has caused nearly 839,000 deaths in 2000 in the globe? 15 years after, in 2015, the deaths has come drastically to more than 4,00,000. Africa is the region that has the most number of cases. In short, nine out of ten death were reported from Africa.
So, there you go. The above mentioned are only some diseases eradicated in the annals of time. But is it enough? New diseases are making an appearance. The pity, modern medicine do not have a cure nor vaccine. Have you heard about the recent outbreak in Kerala of the Nipah virus? If you look at the symptoms, then the recent diseases are deadly. Now do you remember the Ebola virus?
But there is one aspect which you as a human have to remember all along. Fitness levels. If you are fit, even a deadly disease cannot cause damage in the initial stages. You can then take the subsequent vaccine and escape from the symptoms. Being fit helps in all stages of your life. But do you feel demotivated because of working out single? There is a way out if you stay in a urban city such as Hyderabad. There are many companies which have qualified gym trainers in Hyderabad as part of their workforce. All you need to do is to download the company app and select the best trainer based on the budget. You can even schedule the meeting as per your own convenience. On the D-day, the concerned trainer will come to your house or any preferred location to have a conversation/discussion. You can arrive at a conclusion and then decide the timings and the session. You will stay fit and happy all your life. And the diseases, Hah! Just forget them.