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The Conquest of MalariaItaly, 1900-1962$
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Frank M. Snowden

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780300108996

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300108996.001.0001

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Fighting Disaster: DDT and Old Weapons

Fighting Disaster: DDT and Old Weapons

(p.198) 8 Fighting Disaster: DDT and Old Weapons
The Conquest of Malaria

Frank M. Snowden

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses a new stage in the world history of malaria began in the midst of the emergency that had engulfed the Pontine Marshes. In June 1945, Alberto Missiroli announced in a speech to the Provincial Antimalarial Committee (CPA), over which he presided, the availability of the new and magic weapon of DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane). It was so powerful that he predicted to a dubious audience that within five years malaria would be vanquished both locally in Littoria and throughout Italy. In this unexpected declaration, Missiroli had proclaimed the beginning of a new era in malariology that was to last for a generation. It was characterized by American dominance, euphoric optimism, and reliance on DDT to slay the hydra of malaria.

Keywords:   world history, malaria, Pontine Marshes, Alberto Missiroli, Provincial Antimalarial Committee, CPA, magic weapon, DDT, dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane, malariology

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