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Yellow fever, Asia and the East African slave trade.
Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2014 May; 108(5):252-7.TR

Abstract

Yellow fever is endemic in parts of sub-Saharan Africa and South America, yet its principal vectors--species of mosquito of the genus Aedes--are found throughout tropical and subtropical latitudes. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that yellow fever originated in Africa and that its spread to the New World coincided with the slave trade, but why yellow fever has never appeared in Asia remains a mystery. None of several previously proposed explanations for its absence there is considered satisfactory. We contrast the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and trade across the Sahara and to the Arabian Peninsula and Mesopotamia, with that to Far East and Southeast Asian ports before abolition of the African slave trade, and before the scientific community understood the transmission vector of yellow fever and the viral life cycle, and the need for shipboard mosquito control. We propose that these differences in slave trading had a primary role in the avoidance of yellow fever transmission into Asia in the centuries before the 20(th) century. The relatively small volume of the Black African slave trade between Africa and East and Southeast Asia has heretofore been largely ignored. Although focal epidemics may have occurred, the volume was insufficient to reach the threshold for endemicity.

Authors+Show Affiliations

King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.No affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Historical Article
Journal Article
Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

24743951

Citation

Cathey, John T., and John S. Marr. "Yellow Fever, Asia and the East African Slave Trade." Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, vol. 108, no. 5, 2014, pp. 252-7.
Cathey JT, Marr JS. Yellow fever, Asia and the East African slave trade. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2014;108(5):252-7.
Cathey, J. T., & Marr, J. S. (2014). Yellow fever, Asia and the East African slave trade. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 108(5), 252-7. https://doi.org/10.1093/trstmh/tru043
Cathey JT, Marr JS. Yellow Fever, Asia and the East African Slave Trade. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2014;108(5):252-7. PubMed PMID: 24743951.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Yellow fever, Asia and the East African slave trade. AU - Cathey,John T, AU - Marr,John S, PY - 2014/4/19/entrez PY - 2014/4/20/pubmed PY - 2015/1/20/medline KW - Aedes KW - Americas KW - Arbovirus KW - Asia KW - Flavivirus KW - Slave trade KW - Yellow fever SP - 252 EP - 7 JF - Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene JO - Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg VL - 108 IS - 5 N2 - Yellow fever is endemic in parts of sub-Saharan Africa and South America, yet its principal vectors--species of mosquito of the genus Aedes--are found throughout tropical and subtropical latitudes. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that yellow fever originated in Africa and that its spread to the New World coincided with the slave trade, but why yellow fever has never appeared in Asia remains a mystery. None of several previously proposed explanations for its absence there is considered satisfactory. We contrast the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and trade across the Sahara and to the Arabian Peninsula and Mesopotamia, with that to Far East and Southeast Asian ports before abolition of the African slave trade, and before the scientific community understood the transmission vector of yellow fever and the viral life cycle, and the need for shipboard mosquito control. We propose that these differences in slave trading had a primary role in the avoidance of yellow fever transmission into Asia in the centuries before the 20(th) century. The relatively small volume of the Black African slave trade between Africa and East and Southeast Asia has heretofore been largely ignored. Although focal epidemics may have occurred, the volume was insufficient to reach the threshold for endemicity. SN - 1878-3503 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/24743951/Yellow_fever_Asia_and_the_East_African_slave_trade_ L2 - https://academic.oup.com/trstmh/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/trstmh/tru043 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -