J. Michael Lane, leader in Smallpox eradication, Dies at 84

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In summary: It was a long, difficult journey to eradicate this disease.In summary, Dr. J. Michael Lane led a 13-year campaign to eradicate smallpox which achieved success in 1977. The WHO declared smallpox dead in the wild in 1980, marking the end of the disease.
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NY Times obit here.
J. Michael Lane, the last director of the C.D.C.’s smallpox eradication bureau, lead a 13 year campaign to eradicate small pox which achieved success in 1977.
The WHO (not the band) declared small pox dead (in the wild) in 1980.

In his years of writing and lecturing on smallpox, Dr. Lane drew a vivid portrait of that unseen enemy, one of humanity’s oldest and most terrifying infectious diseases. Perhaps emerging from a rodent virus 10,000 years ago, it periodically swept around the world over the centuries, killing or blinding a third of its victims: hundreds of millions in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas, 80 percent of the Native Americans who caught it from European invaders, and the multitudes and monarchs of many lands.

Its traces were found in the 3,000-year-old mummy of Pharaoh Ramses V of Egypt. Presidents George Washington, Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln survived it. And in the 20th century it was blamed for 300 million deaths before it was finally wiped out in an international campaign led by public health officials in the United States and the Soviet Union.

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“I worked with Mike for a half-century,” Dr. Foege recalled for this obituary. “He was extremely important to the success of the smallpox eradication program. He worked in many countries, and ran the whole program from Atlanta. He figured out the complications of administering the vaccine. And he was a great teacher.”
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Things like this are hard work and a great gift to the world.
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He was a giant like Albert Bruce Sabin, a Polish-American medical researcher, best known for developing the oral polio vaccine, which has played a key role in nearly eradicating the disease, and Jonas Edward Salk, an American virologist and medical researcher who developed one of the first successful polio vaccines.

I got my small pox vaccine in 1964, probably at the beginning of the school year.
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Related to J. Michael Lane, leader in Smallpox eradication, Dies at 84

1. Who was J. Michael Lane and why was he notable?

J. Michael Lane was a renowned epidemiologist and scientist who dedicated his career to the eradication of smallpox, a deadly disease that affected millions of people worldwide. He is credited with leading the successful global eradication campaign of smallpox in the 1970s.

2. What were J. Michael Lane's contributions to the field of epidemiology?

J. Michael Lane's contributions to the field of epidemiology were numerous. He not only played a crucial role in the eradication of smallpox, but he also conducted groundbreaking research on other infectious diseases, such as polio, measles, and cholera. He also pioneered the use of surveillance and data analysis in disease control efforts.

3. How did J. Michael Lane's work impact public health?

J. Michael Lane's work had a significant impact on public health, particularly in the area of disease control and prevention. His efforts in eradicating smallpox saved millions of lives and paved the way for future disease eradication campaigns. His research and methods are still used today in the fight against infectious diseases.

4. What was J. Michael Lane's legacy?

J. Michael Lane's legacy is one of great accomplishment and impact. He will always be remembered as a pioneer in the field of epidemiology and an instrumental figure in the eradication of smallpox. His work has influenced and inspired countless other scientists and public health professionals to continue the fight against deadly diseases.

5. How did J. Michael Lane's passing affect the scientific community?

J. Michael Lane's passing was felt deeply by the scientific community, as he was a highly respected and admired figure in the field of epidemiology. Many scientists and public health professionals mourned his loss and paid tribute to his legacy and contributions. However, his impact will continue to be felt for generations to come through his groundbreaking work and achievements.

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