Analysis Of Robert S. Desowitz's The Malaria Capers

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Robert S. Desowitz tells the story of two well-known diseases that affect many rural villagers in Asia, Africa, and Latin America of his novel The Malaria Capers. The first section of the book deals with Kala azar, which is transmitted by a fly. Desowitz begins the novel by introducing a tragic story in India of a distressed mother with a sick child. She traveled miles from her small village to a clinic, where her daughter was diagnosed with Kala azar or Visceral Leishmaniasis. The child is accurately diagnosed, but in the ends of dying because the mother cannot afford the medication to treat the disease. This tragic event is a repeated story throughout the next few chapters that Desowitz uses to compare how individuals in these areas struggled …show more content…
At this time, they also uncovered many of the vectors behind many other of the diseases that were overwhelming these areas accidentally. These new scientific ideas of vectors and complex life cycles were emerging much faster than the scientific community as a whole could understand and accept them. Desowitz then goes into the frustration the people were dealing with Kala azar. The first problem was how the disease even migrated or spread over continents and eventually to the Indian continent. The health officials were unfamiliar with this disease, often mistaking it with malaria. With no vaccine and no idea of any control mechanisms, it took many infected patients and a few years for them to determine that it was infact Kala azar and not malaria. Ending the first section of the book, Desowitz tells us that Leishmania donovani, the vector for the Kala azar disease, could have possibly killed of the dinosaurs. Studies have shown that Leishmania donovani, carried by the sand fly, dates back to historical flies. If a dinosaur was to be bitten by a sand fly carrying the parasite Leishmania donovani, they could have possibly died from Kala azar

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