Plague in paradise : a study of plague on Hawaiian sugarcane plantations

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Title: Plague in paradise : a study of plague on Hawaiian sugarcane plantations
Author: Bailey, Kevin R.
Abstract: The third pandemic of bubonic plague menaced the whole globe for more than a century and claimed the lives of more than thirteen million people. In the twentieth century, plague reached America for the first time, arriving on the Hawaiian archipelago in 1899. By 1910, a rural form of plague known as sylvatic plague, characterized by persistent enzootic infections and intermittent human contraction, became firmly established in the Hamalma District of Hawaii's Big Island. This area's economy and society was dominated by sugarcane plantations, which worked closely with public health authorities in combating the plague pestilence. Plantation doctors participated in administering evolving plague treatments, while other leaders tried various methods of vector and reservoir control. These efforts largely amounted to a massive anti-rodent campaign, waged in the fields of the sugarcane plantations. Rat control experts tried trapping, poisoning, and other methods, but most attempts proved to be ineffective in halting plague entirely. The last case of human plague in Hamakua occurred in 1949, and enzootic plague disappeared somewhat mysteriously in 1959. In total 112 Hamakua residents caught the disease, 109 of whom perished.
Description: v, 94 p. A THESIS Presented to the Department of History and the Clark Honors College of the University of Oregon in partial fulfillment of the requirements for degree of Bachelor of Arts, Spring 2006. A print copy of this thesis is available through the UO Libraries under the call number: SCA Archiv Bailey 2007
Date: 2007-06

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