During the smallpox eradication containment program, to track efforts involved in minimizing the spread of any confirmed smallpox cases, each house in each village was marked with a number like the home numbered '36' pictured here. These homes were listed in the 'smallpox containment book' by a community volunteer record keeper. The containment book recorded all of the names of anyone living in, or within a quarter mile of an infected home, and subsequently all those listed were vaccinated against smallpox. Those vaccinated were followed until a 'successful' vaccination was observed. It was due in large part, to the diligence of local resident volunteers in tracking this severe viral disease, and applying a strict adherence to epidemiologic principles, that such a scourge was brought under control.
CDC/ World Health Organization; Stanley O. Foster M.D., M.P.H.
December 4, 2012
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