Smallpox viruses are a large family of pathogens. But mankind was able to defeat the most dangerous of them.

We have fought hardly any pathogen more successfully than the (human) smallpox virus. With the plague there was isolation and quarantine, and cholera was defeated thanks to sewage treatment plants – but the pathogens are bacteria, they offer more points of attack than viruses. Vaccination is always the first choice for viruses: against smallpox, it became mandatory throughout Germany in 1874 for around 100 years. In 1980, the human pox virus was declared eradicated worldwide.