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How a Malaria Scare at the Start of World War II Gave Rise to the CDC

You’ve probably heard of the Cat and the Hat, but you may not have heard of “Bloodthirsty Ann.” Ann, another character created by Ted Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss), was a mosquito who transmitted malaria, and she first appeared in a 1943 booklet for American troops during World War II.

By the time Bloodthirsty Ann was introduced to readers, malaria had long been present in the southeastern United States. Cases of the deadly disease rose during the Great Depression, and started to wane during the early 1940s. As the country mobilized for World War II, the United States grew concerned about preventing its spread in its military training camps, many of which were in the country’s southern states and its overseas territories.

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