Sources for our Eradication of Diseases entry

Our articles and data visualizations rely on work from many different people and organizations. When citing this entry, please also cite the underlying data sources. This entry can be cited as:

Sophie Ochmann, Hannah Behrens and Max Roser (2018) - "Sources for our Eradication of Diseases entry". Published online at OurWorldInData.org. Retrieved from: 'https://ourworldindata.org/sources-for-eradication-of-diseases' [Online Resource]
Here we present the sources for the data as well as the main references on the infectious diseases discussed in our entry on Eradication of Diseases.

I. Smallpox

    • Data: 
      • Number of annual cases: The disease has been fully eradicated (the number of cases was therefore reduced by 100%). The Earth Policy Institute published the world's number of smallpox infections dataset here and references the WHO as a data source. Here is the visualization of this data over the course of the last century.
      • Number of deaths: Because the disease has been eradicated, naturally the number of deaths has also been reduced by 100%. To our knowledge, no global dataset on the historic number of deaths exists. We compiled two datasets:
        • The number of deaths caused by smallpox as a share of all deaths in London from 1629 to 1902 here. We based most numbers on Guy (1882) Two Hundred and Fifty Years of Small Pox in London. Journal Of The Statistical Society Of London, 45(3), 399. Available online through JSTOR here and several years of the Registrar General of births, deaths, and marriages in England. For detailed information, on our graph click on the Sources tab at the bottom for references for individual years' references.
        • The number of smallpox deaths per 1,000 (living) population in a few European countries from 1774 to 1900 here based on Edwardes (1902) A concise history of small-pox and vaccination in Europe. H.K. Lewis. Available online here.
      • Year of eradication: We document the year of the last recorded case for each country in a world map here. We collected this information from Chapter 8 of this WHO publication: Fenner, F., Henderson, D., Arita, I., Jezek, Z., & Ladnyi, I. (1988). Smallpox and its eradication. Geneva: World Health Organization. Fully available for download here.
    • Information sources:
      • General: Our World in Data has an entire entry dedicated to Smallpox.
      • Case Fatality rate: The 2007 Appendix chapter of the CDC's Pink Book on smallpox states that approximately 30% of infections were lethal but acknowledges that it could range from 15% to 45%. The chapter is fully available online here.

II. Rinderpest

    • Data: 
      • Number of annual cases and deaths: To our knowledge, no data on the number of cases or deaths from rinderpest has been published. We obtained the video of the rinderpest outbreaks globally from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), which is accessible on Youtube here.
      • Year of last reported case: We compiled this data from the archives of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). See the source description for details but with the exception of three countries, we obtained the data from their Archives of World Animal Health.
    • Information sources:
      • General: The best source of general information is the rinderpest material on the website of World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) here. A New York Times article by Donald McNeil in 2011 in celebration of the eradication of rinderpest also reviews its history and is available online here. Barrett, Pastoret & Taylor (2005) provide a more comprehensive account of the disease in their book.
      • Eradication campaign: The GREP (Global Rinderpest Eradication Programme) was initiated by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and its final steps towards eradication are summarised in their progress report here.
      • Case Fatality rate: The OIE's general disease information sheet (available here) states that in cattle or buffalo herds, the case fatality rate can be up to 100%.

III. Polio

    • Data: 
      • Annual number of cases: The WHO records the annual number of polio cases in each country on their website (click on 3.1 Reported incidence time series after following this link). Because polio is a disease that often has no noticeable symptoms, the number of reported cases by the WHO probably greatly underestimates the actual number of polio infections. A comparison of these measures and an explanation of how the actual number of polio cases are estimated can be found on our companion page. The data on the number of estimated paralytic polio cases is visualised here.
      • Number of deaths: By the time that polio became a global priority with the foundation of the GPEI in 1988, polio had already been brought under control and very few people still died of polio. Therefore, no global dataset on the annual number of deaths from polio exists. However, we compiled a dataset on the case and death numbers of the United States which is visualized and can be downloaded here.
      • Year of eradication: The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) documents the years of the last recorded indigenous polio cases on their website here. We have visualized this data in a world map here.
    • Information sources:
      • General: Our World in Data has a whole entry dedicated to polio here. It also includes a further reading list at the bottom.
      • Eradication campaign: The GPEI (Global Polio Eradication Initiative) was founded in 1988 and currently cites 2019 as the aimed for year of eradication. The website can be accessed when following this link here.
      • Case Fatality rate: We found no source that confirmed the number of <0.5%. Unfortunately, it cannot be derived from the US data we collected on the number of cases and deaths from paralytic polio as both cases and deaths are likely to be underreported without knowing each variable's relative magnitude of underreporting. Patients died of polio when the permanent paralysis affected their breathing muscles and since less than 0.5% of polio patients suffered from permanent paralysis, we arrived at a case fatality rate of less than 0.5%.

IV. Guinea worm (dracunculiasis)

    • Data: 
      • Number of cases: The Carter Center has been recording the global number of guinea worm cases since 1989 here. The WHO furthermore records the number of Guinea worm cases of each endemic country here. We compare the global figures in a line graph here. We have additionally visualized the WHO data in a map and chart graph here.
      • Number of deaths: Not applicable as Guinea worm is rarely fatal as outlined in the WHO factsheet here.
      • Year of eradication: 2020 was described in the WHO (2012) report "Accelerating Work To Overcome The Global Impact Of Neglected Tropical Diseases" here.
    • Information sources:
      • General: The WHO summarizes general information about Guinea worm on their website hereHopkins (2013) also provides a good overview and compares it to other diseases in Figure 1. Lastly, Biswas et al. (2013) summarize Guina worm's eradication in their paper which is freely available online here.
      • Eradication campaign: More information about the eradication campaign as led by the Carter Center can be found on their website here. It is hoped that Guinea worm will be eradicated by 2020.
      • Case Fatality rate: Not applicable as guinea worm has never proved fatal.

V. Yaws

    • Data: 
      • Number of cases: Because yaws was neglected after an intense penicillin mass treatment campaign by the WHO from 1952-1964, very little is known about the status of yaws endemicity for many countries. The WHO has documented the number of yaws cases in a few countries in West Africa and South East Asia here and records each country's status of knowledge on yaws here. We have combined these two sources of information in one map and line chart graph here. Because of the large gaps in the data, we have not stated the sum of all recorded yaws cases as the global number of cases in our summary table. However, we used this sum for including yaws in our comparison line chart of all infectious diseases at the beginning of our entry.
      • Number of deaths: Not applicable as yaws is rarely fatal as described in the chapter on yaws in the Oxford textbook of medicine by Warrell (2017), which is partly available on google books, here.
      • Year of eradication: The WHO declared it its goal to eradicate yaws by 2020 as found in their 2012 issue of their publication Weekly Epidemiological Record here.
    • Information sources:
      • General: The WHO maintains an up-to-date factsheet about yaws on their website here. A good overview of yaws' epidemiology can be found in Mitjà et al. (2015) here.
      • Eradication campaign: The best information about the eradication efforts of yaws can likewise be found on the WHO factsheet here.
      • Case Fatality rate: Not applicable as yaws is rarely fatal.

VI. Dog-transmitted rabies

    • Data: 
      • Number of cases: The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation provides data on the annual number of new rabies cases by age group, gender, country and year in their database here. Because rabies has a case-fatality rate of 100% if untreated, this number is very similar to the number of deaths from rabies. Patients that were bitten by a rabies-infected dog can be healed completely (if treated before the onset of symptoms) these rabies cases are likely not reflected in available rabies cases datasets. Therefore, the number of rabies infections are probably much higher than the reported ones as only the cases that actually lead to symptoms and death are usually counted.
      • Number of deaths: The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation likewise provides data on the annual number of deaths from rabies by age group, gender, country and year in their database here.
      • Year of eradication: The United Against Rabies Collaboration was formed in 2012 to reduce the number of dog-transmitted rabies cases to zero by 2030. The report about their campaign can be found here.
    • Information sources:
      • General: The WHO maintains a factsheet about rabies that is accessible online here. The resources provided on the Global Alliance for Rabies Control's website is similar and can be found here.
      • Eradication campaign: More information about the United Against Rabies Collaboration's "Zero by 30" campaign can be obtained here.
      • Case Fatality rate: The 100% case-fatality rate was obtained from Warrell, Cox & Firth's (2017) Oxford textbook of medicine chapter. The book is partly available on google books here.

VII. Tuberculosis

    • Data: 
      • Number of cases: The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) provides data on the annual number of new tuberculosis cases by age group, gender, country and year in their database here. We cite the number of new cases per year, which the IHME refers to as incidence.
      • Number of deaths: Likewise, the IHME also records the annual number of deaths from tuberculosis by age group, gender, country and year in their database here.
      • Year of eradication: Not applicable as we do not have a potent enough measure against tuberculosis.
    • Information sources:
      • General: The WHO maintains a factsheet on Tuberculosis on their website here. The Oxford Textbook of Medicine also provides a good, but more technical overview of tuberculosis - the book is partly available online here.
      • Eradication campaign: Not applicable as we do not have a potent enough measure against tuberculosis. The WHO presents The End TB Strategy with their goal to reduce the TB incidence rate by 90% and the number of TB deaths by 95% from 2015 to 2035 on their website here.
      • Case Fatality rate: 70% with a range between 53-86% for patients that did not have HIV/AIDS was estimated by Tiemersma et al. (2011) here.

VIII. HIV/AIDS

    • Data: 
      • Number of cases: The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) provides data on the annual number of new HIV/AIDS infections by age group, gender, country and year in their database here. We cite the number of new cases per year, which the IHME refers to as incidence.
      • Number of deaths: Likewise, the IHME also records the annual number of deaths from HIV/AIDS by age group, gender, country and year in their database here.
      • Year of eradication: Not applicable as we do not have a potent enough measure against HIV/AIDS.
    • Information sources:
      • General: Our World in Data has a whole entry dedicated to HIV/AIDS here.
      • Eradication campaign: Not applicable as we do not have a potent enough measure against HIV/AIDS.
      • Case Fatality rate: When untreated, the probability of dying of an HIV/AIDS infection approaches 100% as stated by the WHO in their World Health Report Chapter 3 on HIV/AIDS here.

IX. Malaria

    • Data: 
      • Number of cases: The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) provides data on the annual number of new malaria infections by age group, gender, country and year in their database here. We cite the number of new cases per year, which the IHME refers to as incidence.
      • Number of deaths: Likewise, the IHME also records the annual number of deaths from malaria by age group, gender, country and year in their database here.
      • Year of eradication: Not applicable as we do not have a potent enough measure against malaria.
    • Information sources:
      • General: Our World in Data has a whole entry dedicated to malaria here. Furthermore, Hopkins (2013) also provides a good overview of malaria and compares it to other diseases.
      • Eradication campaign: Not applicable as we do not have a potent enough measure against malaria.
      • Case Fatality rate: No data exists on the fatality of malaria when entirely untreated. Therefore, we had to rely on a case fatality rate for treated and untreated cases combined for which the WHO (2015) gives a range of 0.3-0.45% here.