Countdown to victory: the eradication of rinderpest

Timeline created by faonews
  • 1st organized anti-Rinderpest campaign

    1st organized anti-Rinderpest campaign
    Pope Clement XI, alarmed at widespread deaths in papal cattle herds, orders his physician to identify the cause of the deaths and prescribe treatment and prevention measures. The result was the first organized national program against the disease and the establishment of the concept of “quarantine”.
  • Vetrinary medicine takes off

    Vetrinary medicine takes off
    In large measure due to the scourge of rinderpest, European universities begin to formally create centers for the study and advancement of vetinary medicine. The first is the Ecole nationale vétérinaire de Lyon in Lyon, France, in February 1762.
  • Massive cattle deaths in Western Europe

    Massive cattle deaths in Western Europe
    During the 1800s, an estimated 200 million cattle are killed by rinderpest in Western Europe alone.
  • Devastation in sub-Saharan Africa

    Devastation in sub-Saharan Africa
    First introduction of rinderpest to sub-Saharan Africa; the subsequent epidemic wipes out 80-90 percent of all cattle in the region.
  • New knowledge

    In the 1920s, J. T. Edwards discovers that animals given attenuated rinderpest virus preparation are protected from the disease for their whole life.
  • OIE founded

    The OIE is created as an intergovernment effort to combat rinderpest.
  • FAO established

    FAO established
    One of the driving forces behind the foundation of FAO is the need to transfer science and know-how tocountries to help them improve veterinary services and deal with rinderpest.
  • First international attempts to tackle the problem

    The first international workshop organised by FAO, “Rinderpest vaccines, their production and use in the field,” is held in Nairobi from 28 October to 1 November 1948 involving veterinary workers from 22 countries and territories
  • Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources founded

    In 1950 the Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (IBAR) is established with the aim of eliminating rinderpest from the African continent.
  • First effective rinderpest vaccine developed

    First effective rinderpest vaccine developed
    Between 1965 and 1963, a tissue culture rinderpest vaccine is developed and field tested and found to be safe and economical. This contrasts with the old method of inoculating cattle and buffalo with local virus strains mixed with hyperimmune serum (blood antibodies) that would neutralise the virus yet stimulate the cattle to build an immune response. British scientist Walter Plowright is a key player in this effort.
  • Joint Project 15 begins

    Joint Project 15 begins
    1962: The “Joint Project 15” (JP15), launched under the auspices of the Organization of African Unity (OAU, 1963) embarked on an ambitious regional vaccination campaign and was initially very successful. By 1970 the disease had been beaten back in many African nations. But some governments then scaled down or cancelled vaccination and surveillance programs. By the end of the decade the disease resurged and emerged as a major threat across all of Africa.
  • Rinderpest ravages across Africa

    Rinderpest ravages across Africa
    Explosive outbreak in Africa kills millions of animals and leads to billions of dollars of losses (1980-82).
  • Rinderpest reconquers much of Asia

    Rinderpest reconquers much of Asia
    After being contained, rinderpest recolonizes a swath of Asia stretching from Bangladesh to Turkey.
  • Imagining the impossible

    1980s-1990s: FAO begins holding talks with affected countries and other partners to discuss the possibility of establishing a global, coordinated anti-rinderpest campaign.
  • New vaccine

    1986-1990: A thermostable vaccine that is more resistant to high temperatures is developed, facilitating vaccination campaigns in Africa.
  • GREP launched

    GREP launched
    GREP begins operations. . FAO also opens its Emergency Prevention System (EMPRES) for Transboundary Animal and Plant Pests and Disease. EMPRES’s Animal Health component goal is to promote effective containment and control of epidemic animal diseases as well as emerging pathogens and plays a key role in supporting GREP.
  • Last reported outbreak in Asia

    The last reported outbreak of rinderpest in Asia occurs in Sindh Province, Pakistan.
  • Last ever outbreak in Sudan

    last outbreak in Sudan. After international organizations pull out of southern Sudan due to conflicts, community animal health workers continue to canvass the region by foot, walking days at a time with thousands of doses of medicine on their back, undertaking vaccination campaigns. Some of them lost their lives, but their efforts are credited with stamping out the disease in those areas.
  • Rinderpest largely contained

    Rinderpest largely contained
    Rinderpest largely limited to a few reservoirs: the transboundary Somali Ecosystem, Yemen, Pakistan, and Iraq.
  • Last detection in the wild

    Last detection in the wild
    In October and November 2001 the virus is last "sighted", when the disease was diagnosed in buffalo in the Meru National Park, Kenya.
  • Blood tests indicate the Somali ecosystem remains free of rinderpest.

    Blood tests indicate the Somali ecosystem remains free of rinderpest.
    Blood tests indicate the Somali ecosystem remains free of rinderpest.