In 1757 Benjamin Franklin was sent to England by the Pennsylvania Assembly as a colonial agent to protest against the political influence of the Penn family, the proprietors of the colony. In the fall he fell ill and wrote in November about an illness of eight weeks. Franklin did not know the precise cause of his illness, but because of his typically clear description of the symptoms and the methods taken to cure it, modern scholars have been able to pinpoint it exactly. It was the plasmodiam vivax form of malaria: the normal incubation period is 12 - 17 days and so it is very likely that he had been bitten by a mosquito in August. At that time the marshlands of Westminster and Lambeth were infested with the Anopholes Atroparvus mosquito. See "Benjamin Franklin in London: The British Life of America's Founding Father", by George Goodwin.

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