Rahima Banu
Rahima Banu Begum is the last known person to have been infected with naturally occurring Variola major smallpox
Smallpox was an infectious disease unique to humans, caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The disease is also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera, which is a derivative of the Latin varius, meaning "spotted", or varus, meaning "pimple"...

. The case occurred on 16 October 1975, when the two-year old Banu was living in the village of Kuralia on Bhola Island
Bhola Island
Bhola Island is the largest island of Bangladesh with an area of 1441 km². It is situated at the mouth of the Meghna River....

 in the Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

 district of Barisal. Her case was reported by an eight-year-old girl, Bilkisunnessa, who was paid 250 taka
Bangladeshi taka
The Taka is the currency of Bangladesh. Bangladesh Bank, the central bank of the country controls the issuance of the currency except one taka and two taka notes, which are the responsibility of Ministry of Finance of the government of Bangladesh...

. Information on the case was forwarded via telegram to D.A. Henderson, who led the World Health Organization
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...

's campaign to eradicate the disease. The World Health Organization team arrived and cared for Banu, who recovered fully.

In an interview in 2009, Banu said she had four children after marrying a farmer at the age of 18. She stated villagers and even her in-laws treated her poorly because she had suffered from smallpox.

See also

  • Ali Maow Maalin
    Ali Maow Maalin
    Ali Maow Maalin is the last person on earth known to be infected with naturally occurring Variola minor smallpox. At age 23, Maalin was a cook at the hospital in the town of Merca, Somalia, as well as an occasional vaccinator for a World Health Organization smallpox eradication team...

    , last person infected with naturally occurring Variola minor
  • Janet Parker
    Janet Parker
    Janet Parker was the last known person to die from smallpox. She was a medical photographer and worked in the Anatomy Department of the University of Birmingham Medical School. Parker died after being accidentally exposed to a strain of smallpox virus that was grown in a research laboratory, on...

    , last known person to die from smallpox
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