ANYONE WHO HAS ever suffered from malaria will find much of interest in this well-researched and personal story of malaria and the cure that revolutionised medicine. And anyone who hasn't would be well advised to learn about this deadly sickness, which kills as many as three million people a year. 'In the last decade', writes Fiammetta Rocco, 'malaria has killed at least ten times as many children as have died in all the wars that have been fought over the same period. Yet the mosquito that carries it is little larger than a single eyelash.'
Rocco begins her remarkable story in 1623, when six cardinals and countless attendants died from the mal'aria or 'bad air' of the Roman marshes during the conclave that followed the death of Pope Gregory XV, who had been killed by the same disease. The remaining cardinals, frantic as their colleagues