Rahima Banu

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In 1975, two-year-old Rahima Banu contracted last known case of naturally-occurring variola major Smallpox.

Rahima Banu Begum (Bengali: রহিমা বানু বেগুম; born 16 October 1972)[1] is the last known person to have been infected with naturally occurring Variola major smallpox, the more deadly variety of the disease.[2][3]


  • 1 The disease
  • 2 Later life
  • 3 See also
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links

The disease[edit]

The case was reported on 16 October 1975,[4] when Banu was three years old,[5] and living in the village of Kuralia on Bhola Island in the Bangladesh district of Barisal.[6] Her case was reported by an eight-year-old girl, Bilkisunnessa,[7] who was paid 250 taka.[8] Information on the case was forwarded via telegram to D.A. Henderson, who led the World Health Organization’s campaign to eradicate the disease.[9] The World Health Organization team arrived and cared for Banu, who recovered fully. On 24 November 1975 she was declared free of the virus.[10] Scabs of the virus from her body were transferred to the CDC office in Atlanta, where they are currently stored along with hundreds of other samples.[11] Everyone on the island who might have come in contact with the infected were vaccinated, while the island was searched to find others who might still be infected.[12] The strain from her sample is known as Bangladesh 1975 formally and the Rahima strain informally.[13]

Later life[edit]

Banu created income for her family by posing for photos.[14] In an interview in 2009, Banu said she had four children after marrying a farmer at the age of 18. She said that villagers and her in-laws treated her poorly because she had suffered from smallpox.[15][16]

See also[edit]

  • Ali Maow Maalin, last person infected with naturally occurring Variola minor.[17]
  • Janet Parker, last known person to die from smallpox


  • ^ Goodfield, June (1 January 1991). A Chance to Live. Macmillan Publishing Company. p. 4. ISBN 9780025446557. 
  • ^ Tucker, Jonathan B. (9 December 2016). Scourge: The Once and Future Threat of Smallpox. Grove Press. p. 112. ISBN 9780802139399. 
  • ^ Pendergrast, Mark (1 January 2010). Inside the Outbreaks: The Elite Medical Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 157. ISBN 0151011206. 
  • ^ Hopkins, Donald R. (15 September 2002). The Greatest Killer: Smallpox in History. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226351681. 
  • ^ Huber, Peter (12 November 2013). The Cure in the Code: How 20th Century Law is Undermining 21st Century Medicine. Basic Books. ISBN 0465069819. 
  • ^ Kelley, Bob (16 February 2015). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Arcadia Publishing. p. 62. ISBN 9781439649466. 
  • ^ Goodfield, June (August 1985). Quest for the Killers. Birkhauser. ISBN 978-0-8176-3313-4. Retrieved 26 October 2017. 
  • ^ Image caption of U.S. Centers for Disease Control Public Health Image LibraryC image number 7762
  • ^ Henderson, D.A. (15 October 2010). “Interview with D.A. Henderson, sourced at History of Vaccines website”. College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  • ^ Joarder, A. Kashem; Tarantola, D.; Tulloch, J. (1 January 1980). The eradication of smallpox from Bangladesh. World Health Organization, South-East Asia Regional Office. p. 48. ISBN 9789290221081. 
  • ^ McKenna, Maryn (17 June 2008). Beating Back the Devil: On the Front Lines with the Disease Detectives of. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9781439104958. 
  • ^ Preston, Richard (1 January 2003). The Demon in the Freezer. Random House. p. 91. ISBN 9780345466631. 
  • ^ Felker, Clay (1 January 2000). The Best American Magazine Writing 2000. PublicAffairs. p. 82. ISBN 158648009X. 
  • ^ Kotar, S. L.; Gessler, J. E. (12 April 2013). Smallpox: A History. McFarland. p. 374. ISBN 9780786468232. 
  • ^ “Asia Marks 30 Years since World Declared Free of Smallpox”. Voice of America. 2 November 2009. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  • ^ See also Image caption of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health Image Library image number 7765
  • ^ Garrett, Laurie (31 October 1994). The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance. Macmillan. p. 45. ISBN 9781429953276. 
  • External links[edit]

    • The village of Kuralia

    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rahima_Banu