Revisiting the 1970 smallpox outbreak in Meschede, Germany: Lessons for a post-COVID world




biological hazards, hazard, smallpox, public health, history, emergency management, COVID-19, coronavirus


When people think about hazards, the types that easily come to their mind include natural hazards, such as earthquakes, tornados, and tsunamis, and manmade ones, such as plane crashes, bomb explosions, and exposure to toxic industrial chemicals. Disease outbreaks are a source of hazards that are often overlooked, and the largely forgotten smallpox was an example of such disease. This article provides a review of the emergency management practices that curtailed the potentially devastating spread of smallpox at Meschede, Germany in 1970. Lessons that can be transferred to the COVID-19 pandemic are also discussed.

Author Biographies

Promise Tewogbola, MS

School of Psychological and Behavioral Sciences, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois

Norah Aung, MS

Department of Health Sciences and Social Work, Western Illinois University, Macomb, Illinois


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How to Cite

Tewogbola, MS, P., and N. Aung, MS. “Revisiting the 1970 Smallpox Outbreak in Meschede, Germany: Lessons for a Post-COVID World”. Journal of Emergency Management, vol. 19, no. 7, Oct. 2021, pp. 157-63, doi:10.5055/jem.0617.