Oh, the Diseases You'll Catch! Dr. Seuss's WWII Foray Into Public Health

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Before he was teaching kids to read, Dr. Seuss was teaching soldiers how to avoid malaria.

He was probably too busy as a U.S. Army captain to bother finding anything to rhyme with "malaria," but the good Theodor Geisel did take the time to personify the Anopheles mosquito as a vixen named Ann out to tempt unwary soldiers into an undignified death. In his typical whimsical style, adjusted to a slightly older audience, he warned young G.I.s to keep their pants (and the rest of their clothes) on: "If you go running around as a strip teaser, you haven't got a chance."

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Photos via the USDA
h/t ContagionNPR
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Lindsay Abrams is an assistant editor at Salon and a former writer and producer for The Atlantic's Health Channel.

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