Tag Archives: Yellow Fever

African American contract doctors in the military

Edward McSweegan Kingston, Rhode Island, United States   African American Soldiers in Cuba, 1898, Wikipedia In the spring of 1898, the United States rushed into a war with Spain but lacked adequate troops, training, weapons, transport, supplies, food, landing craft, and medical personnel. One deficit that could be corrected before the shooting started was the […]

The hunt for a yellow fever therapy

Edward McSweegen Kingston, Rhode Island, United States   Roux’s syringe for delivering antitoxin, The College of Physicians of Philadelphia  Source In March 2020, a research group in China reported the use of convalescent plasma to treat ten patients suffering from coronavirus COVID-19 infections.1 This type of therapy—passive immunization—dates back to 1891 when the German bacteriologist Emil […]

How conflict and bureaucracy delayed the elimination of yellow fever

Edward McSweegan Kingston, Rhode Island, United States   Army Surgeon General George Miller Sternberg, Wikimedia The Golden Age of Bacteriology (1876-1906) saw the emergence of techniques to cultivate bacterial pathogens and develop vaccines and anti-toxin therapies against them. The new bacteriologists rapidly identified the agents causing anthrax, gonorrhea, typhoid, tuberculosis, cholera, tetanus, diphtheria, plague, and […]

Philadelphia’s plague

Hayat El Boukari Tetouan, Morocco Four plates showing the development of yellow fever. From the title: Observations sur la fièvre jaune, faites à Cadix, en 1819 / par MM. Pariset et Mazet. Authors: Etienne Pariset (1770-1847) and André Mazet (1793-1821). Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY 4.0. A narrative of the proceedings of the black people, […]

William Gorgas – Life and medical legacy

 Mariel Tishma Chicago, Illinois, USA Portrait of William C. Gorgas. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY Library, London. Wellcome Images The Panama Canal Zone in the early 1900s was described as “one of the must unhealthful places in the world.”1 Ridden with mosquitoes, the Isthmus of Panama was a hotbed of yellow fever, malaria, and pneumonia. […]

Clara Maass, yellow fever, and the early days of ethical medical testing

Mariel Tishma Chicago, Illinois, USA   Clara Louise Maass portrait. Credit: National Museum of Health and Medicine. CC BY 2.0. Clara Maass was born on June 28, 1876, in the quiet New Jersey township of East Orange. The oldest daughter of Hedwig and Robert E. Maass, she grew up helping to raise and provide for […]

Physician: study thyself

Susan Hurley Victoria, Australia   In 2016 one man died and five others suffered brain damage during a drug trial in Rennes, France.1 A similar disaster occurred during the 2006 London trial of a novel monoclonal antibody: six men experienced an immediate systemic inflammatory response and became critically ill with multi-organ failure.2 These tragedies are […]

Passionate medicine: the emotional fight against epidemic disease

Tom Koch  Toronto, Canada The Plague at Ashdod, 1630 Nicolas Poussin Musée du Louvre, Paris Great medicine is driven by great passion, by a sense of outrage at the indignity that a disease visits on its victims. Across history the search for a solution to epidemic diseases has been rooted not in a desire for […]