Rahima Banu Begum (Bengali: রহিমা বানু বেগুম; born 1973) is the last known person to have been infected with naturally occurring Variola major smallpox, the more deadly variety of the disease. The case was reported on 16 October 1975, when Banu was less than two years old, and living in the village of Kuralia on Bhola Island in the Bangladesh district of Barisal. Her case was reported by an eight-year-old girl, Bilkisunnessa, who was paid 250 taka. Information on the case was forwarded via telegram to D.A. Henderson, who led the World Health Organization'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 said that villagers and even her in-laws treated her poorly because she had suffered from smallpox.
- Ali Maow Maalin, last person infected with naturally occurring Variola minor
- Janet Parker, last known person to die from smallpox
Notes and references
- Image caption of U.S. Centers for Disease Control Public Health Image LibraryC image number 7762
- Henderson, D.A. (15 October 2010). "Interview with D.A. Henderson, sourced at History of Vaccines website". College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Retrieved 15 October 2010.
- "Asia Marks 30 Years since World Declared Free of Smallpox". Voice of America. 2 November 2009. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
- See also Image caption of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health Image Library image number 7765