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Health Place. 2011 May;17(3):836-42. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2011.03.007. Epub 2011 Mar 26.

Malaria, environmental change, and an [corrected] historical epidemiology of childhood 'cold fevers': popular interpretations from southwestern Burkina Faso.

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Unit of the Epidemiology of Emerging Diseases, Institut Pasteur, 25-28 rue du Docteur Roux, Paris Cedex 15, France.

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  • Health Place. 2011 Nov;17(6):1296.


We examine how southwestern Burkina Faso populations interpret political ecological and social change for the past 40 years to assert a changing epidemiology of childhood "cold fevers"-malaria-like illnesses. Lay knowledge about "cold fevers" is historically produced, reflecting political economic, social, ecological and biomedical changes, and the historical consciousness of people living with these illnesses. While informants insisted that dislocations wrought by a post-colonial irrigation scheme increased cold fevers, they offered different explanations for their increased incidence and intensity. This historical epidemiology of cold fevers may influence parents' care decisions, but global public health interventions are rapidly changing therapeutic access.

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