Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

World’s Deadliest Animal?

Posted by romeethredge on December 5, 2014

A friend recently sent me a link to Bill Gates’ blog about the world’s deadliest animal.

I could guess what it is since I had Malaria when I lived in Togo, West Africa.  Mosquitoes transmit many diseases directly into our bloodstream, and they are often deadly.  Interestingly, my grandfather, Frank Ethredge, talked about having Malaria as a child in deep south Georgia.  Also, we have just a few miles away a place called “Recovery”, where soldiers from Fort Scott on the Flint River, went to recover from Mosquito borne illnesses.

The Georgia Encyclopedia has information concerning Malaria in Georgia.

“Malaria made its way to the interior of Georgia in 1807. Malaria slowed the growth and economic development of part of the state, more so than any other disease at that time.

Thousands died from malaria during the Civil War (1861-65), and until the 1930s the disease was endemic in the southern states. To combat this problem, the U.S. Public Health Service assigned a new unit, Malaria Control in War Areas, which would later grow to become the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. Studies of malaria epidemics were also conducted from 1939 to 1958 at the site of the present-day Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center at Ichauway in Baker County.

In 1806 the capital of the state moved fromLouisville to Milledgeville, in part because of concerns over frequent outbreaks of malaria in the Louisville area.

Malaria was eradicated in the United States in the 1940s as a result of improved housing, drainage of flooded areas, improved access to proper treatment, and the U.S. Public Health Department’s campaign to eliminate the disease using indoor residual spraying of the pesticide DDT to control mosquitoes.

Despite the eradication of malaria in this country, CDC receives reports of about 1,300 cases every year. Most of these are acquired during international travel.”

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