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Health Highlights: Aug. 22, 2016

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

U.S. Doctor Who Led Global Fight Against Smallpox Dead at Age 87

The American doctor who led to campaign to eradicate smallpox has died at age 87.

Donald Henderson died of complications after breaking a hip, BBC News reported.

Smallpox was one of the world's deadliest diseases and killed hundreds of millions of people in the last century. The disease killed about one-third of those infected.

In 1966, Henderson was appointed by the World Health Organization to stamp out smallpox. At that time, the disease was still endemic in Africa and Asia. Most believed Henderson would fail. But instead of a mass vaccination program, he targeted outbreaks of the disease and systematically vaccinated people, BBC News reported.

It was first time an infectious disease had been combated on a global scale. Smallpox was officially declared eradicated in 1980.

Posted: August 2016


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