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June 15, 1963

Perspective on Malaria Today

Author Affiliations

Bethesda, Md.

Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

JAMA. 1963;184(11):873-875. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.73700240003011

WHETHER or not malaria was a truly indigenous disease in the United States is not known, but it certainly was introduced by some of the early settlers from Europe. This seed-bed must have been immeasurably enhanced later by the importation of infected Negroes from Africa. At the turn of the century, malaria occurred throughout the eastern half of the country and was carried to the Far West as settlers migrated in that direction.

The first suggestion of eradication of malaria was made in 1915 by Dr. Frederick L. Hoffman, the statistician of the Prudential Insurance Company. He read a paper titled "A Plea for a National Committee on the Eradication of Malaria"1 at the Southern Medical Association and followed it up the next year with another presentation to the same association entitled "A Plea and a Plan for the Eradication of Malaria."1 This resulted in the organization