The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years
In recent years, malaria has emerged as a cause cÃ©lÃ¨bre for voguish philanthropists. Bill Gates, Bono, and Laura Bush are only a few of the personalities who have lent their namesâ€”and opened their pocketbooksâ€”in hopes of curing the disease. Still, in a time when every emergent disease inspires waves of panic, why arenâ€™t we doing more to eradicate one of our olde
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My first gripe with the book is that, to me, the story seemed to be set up in a strange way. The author seems to have broken the book up into a short discussion of the parasite (Plasmodium species), a moderate length discussion on the host (humans, in this case) ...more
The Fever suffers from being too short. I trying to be too many things in 240 pages+footnotes: a cult ...more
For me the book bogged down a bit in the middle as she reported battle after battle in wars over thousands of years where the outcome was determined by malaria. Once she made that point and moved to the science and politics of moder ...more
I also liked the elaborate parts on the complexity of malaria, the parasite Plasmodium and its Anopheles vector. The first time I ...more
For me, I have a decent understanding of malaria’s general transmission, epidemi ...more
Sonia Shah performs a great balancing act in delivering the complexities of malarial science while keeping the storytelling brisk and riveting.
The long history of the disease also provides her with rich pickings and some great anecdotes like that of Oliver Cromwell.
He spurned one of the best and most effective treatments of the day, the ground-up bark of the cinchona tree, because it ...more
I have occassion to help diaganosis Malaria, in an east coast medical center. When a patient is diagnosed, it is usually someone who was originally from a malaria infested area who has been living in the US (legal or otherwise). He or she goes back for a visit; and as they had not used anti-malaral medicines in their youth, they see no reason to spend the money. And when they come back they are sick with fever. Before reading Shah's explaination of limited lo ...more
A very approachable history of malaria, one that integrates human behavior into the story more thoroughly than a more biology-oriented book would. Not that Shah skimps on the science; we do learn the basics of the parasite's life cycle, as well as the way it flourishes in only certain Anopheles vectors, which in turn are adapted to specific niches.
I think Shah makes a strong argument for her thesis; colonialism and imperialism were significantly impacted by the presence of malaria - con ...more
This parasite undergoes development in both mosquito and hu ...more
However, large parts of the narrative are vague or even factually questionable. The treatment of malariology during the interwar period, especially in Europe, is poor. The League of Nations Health Organisation and its Malaria Commission is almost entirely absen ...more
Shah begins this fascinating book at the micro level: the description of what malaria biologica ...more
What I liked about this book is that it brings to your notice the 'last mile' of malaria.
An interesting bit in the book that highlights this, is how insecticide treated nets actually end up being used in some African villages. Another is a part about several ethnographic studies of how the people who live with the disease really perceive it.
Time and time again, why is it that when policies and interventions are designed, they fail to fully consider who i ...more
Fairly well researched but poor organization hampers Ms. Shah's argument. Her critiques of global public health NGOs and IGOs are mostly persuasive, though sometimes seem inconsistent. She spends a chapter tearing into the WHO's slow adoption of new techniques and then another chapter faulting NGO's for trying to use new techniques against the WHO's recommendations. [Disclosure: I am related to someone who used to work for the Gates Foundation so grain of salt here.] Merging these chapt ...more
The author does an excellent job with the finicky details of the life cycle of the malaria plasmodium. She also, very interestingly, manages to both impress ...more
|Club de lecture S...: May-Jun 2020 | The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years, by Sonia Shah||3||4||Jun 02, 2020 03:02AM|