How four once common diseases were eliminated from the American South.


Journal Article

Four major diseases stigmatized the American South in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: yellow fever, malaria, hookworm, and pellagra. Each disease contributed to the inhibition of economic growth in the South, and the latter three severely affected children's development and adult workers' productivity. However, all four had largely disappeared from the region by 1950. This paper analyzes the reasons for this disappearance. It describes the direct effects of public health interventions and the indirect effects of prosperity and other facets of economic development. It also offers insights into the invaluable benefits that could be gained if today's neglected diseases were also eliminated.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Humphreys, M

Published Date

  • November 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 28 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1734 - 1744

PubMed ID

  • 19887414

Pubmed Central ID

  • 19887414

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1544-5208

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0278-2715

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1377/hlthaff.28.6.1734


  • eng