Never Let The Facts Get In The Way Of A Good Story

The history of malaria has many great stories, like 8 Presidents and 4 popes had it, and they believe King Tut died of Malaria.

Now, I have a snowballs chance in hell of dying from malaria, but I did indeed have malaria in Lome, Togo a couple of years ago. Malaria is one of the rites of passage of travelers, until you have had malaria, the you still lack a good travel story to tell.

Malaria has a cure, not one, but over 13 ways to cure malaria, so do not get yourself in a bind, the cure takes less than three days, and as my research on how expats dying abroad surmises, we normally die in car accidents, or our Thai girlfriend kills us. Take your pick, but again, you have a snowballs chance in hell of dying from malaria.

John F. Kennedy Malaria


1. George Washington first contracted malaria at age 17 in Virginia, and while he did not die from the disease he suffered from recurring bouts throughout his life.

2. Abraham Lincoln also got the disease while growing up .

3. James Monroe got malaria when he visited a particularly swampy area of the Mississippi River. Bouts of the disease flared up for years afterwards.

4. Andrew Jackson contracted malaria while on the Seminole military campaigns in Florida.

5. Ulysses S. Grant suffered from frequent bouts of malaria in the late 1850s while living on a farm outside of St. Louis.

6. James A. Garfield acquired malaria at age 16 in Ohio.

7. Theodore Roosevelt came down with malaria after a visit to the Amazon rainforest. Although the bout did not kill him he returned to the U.S. weakened physically and spent many years in his bed.

8. John F. Kennedy contracted malaria while in the Solomon Islands during World World II where he served as a PT boat captain.

Other famous people with malaria:

Errol Flynn
Mahatma Gandhi
Ernest Hemingway
Sir David Attenborough
 Christopher Columbus
Michael Caine
Jeremy Piven
Anderson Cooper
Chris Matthews,

and Mother Teresa.


Revolutionary War: US Congress bought cinchona bark from
South America to treat soldiers with malaria.

Civil War: 1,200,000 cases 8,000 deaths.

WWI: Almost 5,000 cases with 7 deaths in US Navy and
Marines; more than 100,000 cases in British and French

WWII: 500,000 cases in US Army; more than 110,000 cases
with 90 deaths in US Navy and Marines

Vietnam War: Over 40,000 cases of Malaria were reported in Army troops alone between 1965 and 70 with 78 deaths.


Panama Canal - In 1904, the Isthmian Canal Commission, accompanied by Col. W. C. Gorgas, Medical Corps, U. S. Army, John W. Ross, Medical Director, U. S. Navy, Capt. C. E. Gillette, Corps of Engineers, U. S. Army, and Maj. Louis A. LaGarde, Medical Corps, U. S. Army.

But, Never Let The Facts Get In The Way Of A Good Story

There are a lot of malaria facts, and stories to be told, however one I have never heard is someone working inside the USA, causing malaria to be eliminated in some African country. However, if you read stories about malaria, they are good stories, and seldom written from an malaria infected country.

From my point of view, a good old boy from Indiana, we need feet on the ground, and less good stories coming from University Professors.

They have good stories, but the facts are clear, people living in malaria infested communities eliminate malaria, not studies done in Universities.

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Comments 2


You thought you could slip this one in and I would not notice ?

....we normally die in car accidents, or our Thai girlfriend kills us. Take your pick......

Incorrect Sir Andrew of Toga, We Travelers, normally JUMP off balconies of high rise apartments or hotels in Thailand due to Broken Hearts.

Fortunately my wife has not made me Jump. I keep her Mothers Water Buffalos in good shape, sending the mother-in-law plenty off baht to keep the herd healthy :) Her Buffalos coats shine and so does her new truck !

Would cost 10x as much in USA and I do get to ride the Buffalo whenever I want.


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