A New Look at Yellow Fever and Malaria

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  • Yale University, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, P.O. Box 3333, 60 College Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06510

Mr. President, Members, Guests:

It is an honor to be here with you to deliver the third Fred L. Soper Lecture. It is an honor to render homage to Fred L. Soper. A recapitulation of Soper's achievements is in order. In the 1930s he directed the campaign for the eradication of Aedes aegypti from Brazil. I run out of adjectives in trying to convey the circumstances, and run out of superlatives in trying to present the magnitude of this achievement. It was not a campaign that introduced new techniques, but a campaign that illustrated what could be accomplished by application of already known techniques, but applying them more rigorously than ever before, coupled with political sagacity and bulldog tenacity. The result was eradication of an important disease vector in a country oppressed by yellow fever. The effect was electric. Similar campaigns were started in most of the Latin American countries, and also in the United States in due course, and progressed to within hailing distance of the objective, hemisphere eradication.