Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: November 27, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412953948 | Print ISBN: 9781412928168 | Online ISBN: 9781412953948| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Brian K. Lee
Disease eradication is defined as the permanent reduction of disease incidence to zero, globally, through deliberate efforts. On eradication of a disease, no disease-related morbidity or mortality can ever occur again. Disease eradication and disease elimination are not synonymous. In disease elimination, incidence of a disease is reduced to zero within a specific geographic area. Continued preventive measures are required in a state of disease elimination since the disease may still arise (i.e., importation of a communicable disease across country borders), whereas intervention is no longer required on eradication. Eradication is different from extinction, which occurs when the etiologic agent no longer exists in nature or in a laboratory. Smallpox is the only disease to date that has been eradicated. The biological and technical feasibility of eradication of a particular disease depends on the natural history of the etiologic agent and the disease, population characteristics affecting transmission potential, and the ...