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Ruth Nussenzweig and the struggle against malaria

corresponding

MARCO MILANO

Abstract

Malaria is one of the most terrible and deadly infectious diseases in human history.
Fortunately, we do at least know a lot about malaria and how it works. Our understanding of this infection advanced hugely in the 20th century, thanks to Ruth Sonntag Nussenzweig, a leader in the worldwide struggle against malaria.


Malaria is one of the most terrible and deadly infectious diseases in human history. Its symptoms have been known for  thousands of years and few   civilisations have escaped it entirely. In the modern era, malaria killed more than one million soldiers  in the American Civil War alone.

Wealthy Western countries do not fear malaria like they did half a century ago, but this does not mean that malaria has been eradicated, like polio or smallpox. We actually live in a malaria-dominated world. Today, the disease affects more people than ever before, it is endemic in 106 countries and threatens half of the world’s population.

Fortunately, we do at least know a lot about malaria and how it works. Our understanding of this infection advanced hugely in the 20th century, thanks to Ruth Sonntag Nussenzweig, a leader in the worldwide struggle against malaria.

Ruth was Professor Emerita of Microbiology and Pathology at New York University’s Lang ...




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