This interdisciplinary PhD project studies the social, geographical and demographic patterns of malaria morbidity and mortality in 19th century Denmark.
The Danish disease "koldfeber", today synonymized with modern malaria, was reported as common rural diseases in the 18th and early 19th centuries. By the beginning of the 20th century, it had however become extinct without human intervention. The "natural" disappearance of malaria from Scandinavia still remains a medical-historical mystery.
Combining historical, epidemiological and demographic methods, this project examines the epidemiology and medical history of the historical malaria diagnoses in Denmark and Sweden. The project has three aims:
1) to study the development in medical understanding of cold fever over the 19th century.
2) to study the epidemiology and social consequences of cold fever epidemics in the early 19th century.
3) to study possible reasons behind the disappearance of malaria from the Nordic climate, including the role of the climate, social changes and agricultural drainage.