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NSW Public Health Bulletin archive

Guest Editorial: Unwanted guests: The miseries, the dangers and the glorious future of biting insects and vector-borne diseases in New South Wales Volume 15 Issue 11-12

Krishna Hort, Stephen Corbett

New South Wales Public Health Bulletin 15(12) 191 - 192 Published: 2004

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About the author/s

Krishna Hort

Stephen Corbett


Insects have an infinite talent to annoy, and as vectors of disease
they have had a decisive effect on human affairs, determining
the fates of cities and armies, religions and nations. The
outbreak of bubonic plague in Europe during the 14th century
is considered an important contributor to the demise of
feudalism. Convocations of the College of Cardinals in Rome
were regularly disrupted by mortality from the (literally,
the ‘bad air’) of the Pontine Marshes. Napoleon lured an English
army into the malarial swamps of (The
Netherlands) to effect a famous victory. In history, vectorborne
diseases have been the constant and unwanted
companions of new settlers, the adventurous, the poor, and
marching armies and pilgrims.