Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 62.djvu/527

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By Professor GLENN W. HERRICK,


IN a paper on 'Measures for the Decrease of Malaria in the South', read in Nashville, Tenn., in August of the past summer before the Southern Commissioners of Agriculture, I very briefly called attention to the important rôle of malaria in agriculture. It was an inadequate attempt to demonstrate the practical bearing of this disease upon the wealth-producing powers of a commonwealth, with the hope that it might prove an added inducement for putting into practice the measures which had been recommended for the decrease of malaria. For to induce a people to use a remedy it must first be shown that a remedy is very much needed. We trust that this further treatment of the same question will result in more widespread and serious discussions and investigations of the profound influence of this most insidious disease upon the industries and wealth-producing powers of the southern people.

The south as a whole has given little thought to the tremendous role malaria plays in her industries, especially in agriculture. We have no idea of the loss occasioned by malaria in unfitting men for long or energetic hours of labor. The loss of energy and enthusiasm, the loss of interest in one's own efforts and successes, all of which contribute enormously to the inefficiency of labor and cause the wealth producing power, especially in agriculture, to fall far short of its normal capacity, is due in a marvelous and undreamed of degree to that life-sapping disease, malaria. The man that is just able to 'crawl out of bed and drag around' is certainly not the man to accomplish an efficient and full day's labor. Because a man is at work is not necessarily a proof that he is actually adding to the sum total of his own wealth or to that of the state, and in a lesser degree does it prove that he is adding to the sum total of wealth, all of which he is capable. A man's general state of health has quite as much relation to his producing powers as the amount and kind of food he eats. And certainly there is no disease known to man that more insidiously undermines his constitution and lessens his ability to produce his full measure of wealth than malaria. Moreover, looking at malaria from another point of view, namely its relation to other diseases, let us hear what the eminent Dr. Patrick Manson, of England, says. In speaking of the importance of our knowledge concerning the relation of mos-