Yellow Jack: How Yellow Fever Ravaged America and Walter Reed Discovered Its Deadly Secretsby John R. Pierce, James V. Writer, James Writer
Like wars and natural disasters, epidemics tend to bring out both the best and the worst in people. Throughout most of its two-and-a-half-century killing spree across North America, yellow fever brought out only the worst. Characterized by seemingly random outbreaks that attacked people of all ages and walks of life, this excruciatingly painful and violent disease… See more details below
Like wars and natural disasters, epidemics tend to bring out both the best and the worst in people. Throughout most of its two-and-a-half-century killing spree across North America, yellow fever brought out only the worst. Characterized by seemingly random outbreaks that attacked people of all ages and walks of life, this excruciatingly painful and violent disease spread panic and chaos in communities that had weathered smallpox, typhoid, and other deadly epidemics with relative calm. Those who could run fled in every direction; parents abandoned infected children; friends and relatives shunned each other; businesses failed; governments collapsed; and thousands died in solitary agony with no one to care for them.
Yellow Jack tracks the history of this deadly scourge from its earliest appearance in the Caribbean 350 years ago, telling the remarkable and triumphant story of a few extraordinarily brave souls who brought their very best to the battle against yellow fever.
Based in large part on a massive body of research collected by Dr. Philip S. Hench, this thrilling medical adventure follows the exploits of the four-member U.S. Army Yellow Fever Board, led by U.S. Army major and physician Walter Reed. In the aftermath of the Spanish American War, the team assembled in Cubalong believed to be the fount of yellow feveron one of the most dangerous missions in medical history.
Risking not only their own lives, but also those of the many volunteers who agreed to be infected with the virus, the team devised a series of elegantly simple experiments to pursue the disease as far as the science and technology of the era would allow. During their short stay in Cuba, these intrepid researchers overturned the leading theories of the day on the cause, spread, and control of yellow fever; they also presented sound new theories that were proven very quickly in practical application. By the end of 1901, Havana was free of yellow fever for the first time in a hundred years. By 1905, the disease was banished from both Cuba and the United States.
Every victory has its costs as well as its triumphs. One Army Board member was killed in action by yellow fever; another was severely wounded by the disease. One was soon forgotten by history, while another became an enduring symbol of the can-do American military and medical men so revered in the early twentieth century. Yellow Jack is a testament to both their tragic sacrifices and their stunning accomplishments.
- Publication date:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 9.21(w) x 6.14(h) x 0.69(d)
Read an Excerpt
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >