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An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793

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S: Yellow Fever

FC: An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 By: Jim Murphy | Andrea Crusham

1: No one knew that a killer was already moving through their streets with them, an invisible stalker that would go house to house until it had touched everyone, rich or poor, in some terrible way.

2: Mother | My home: Philadelphia, PA

3: About Me: | Chills | Headaches | Painful aching in the back, arms, and legs | High fever | Yellow Skin | Bleeding | Black Vomit

4: Dear Diary, Today, I visited the first victims. Although I took them, the towns people did not respond like I would have thought. Some said it was because they were poor or foreign. People are not taking me seriously... I need to think of a way for the city of Philadelphia to take me seriously. Dr. Rush is starting to believe I am back though. This will bring my notorious name back to the streets of Philadelphia. Until next time, Y

5: My effect on the lives I touch... | Before | After

6: Dr. Benjamin Rush | Dr. William Currie Studied me closely and wrote two different books about me.

7: Dr. Benjamin Rush Believe the reason I was striking victims was because of the "stagnant, foul-smelling air that had infested Philadelphia" (page 25) | Dr. William Currie Believed I was from the West Indies and that the best way to protect my presence was to quarantine the victims (page 26) | The Controversy

8: Dr. Rush believed he knew how to cure those lives that I had touched. | He created the "Ten-and-Ten" treatment consisting of swallowing ten grains of calomel (mercury) and ten grains of jalop (poisonous root)" (page 61)

9: Treatments also included bloodletting, phlebotomy, which was when doctors would open a vein and drain blood to allow blood to flow more freely through the body (page 59)

10: Hot dry winds forever blowing, Dead men to the grave-yards going: Constant hearses, Funeral verses; Oh! What plagues - there is no knowing! Priests retreating from their pulpits! - Some in hot, and some in cold fits In bad temper, Off they scamper, Leaving us - unhappy culprits! | Gaining Notoriety | Doctors raving and disputing, Death's pale army still recruiting - What a pother One with t'other! Some a-writing, some a-shooting. Nature's poisons here collected, Water, earth, and air infected - O, what pity, Such a City, Was in such a place erected! | Pestilence by Philip Freneau

11: October 9, 1793 | The Federal Gazette

12: "Congess passed a law giving the president power to call it to session outside of nation's capital whenever a grave hazard to life and health existed" (page 105) | Proud Accomplishments | City Cleanliness: 1793 water = came from public/private wells from the Delaware River. In result, the first Water System in the United States was created

14: "For all of history and all over the globe she has been a nuisance, a pain, and an angel of death." - Andrew Speilman and Michael D'Antonio (page 125)

15: I terrorized many cities throughout the 1800's - Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, Mobile, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia, Savannah, Charleston, and Jacksonville (page 127) | The Aedes aegypti mosquito is my transporter. | The actual source of the yellow fever virus - tree dwelling monkeys in African and American rain forests - identified in 1929. Safe and effective vaccine developed in 1937 (page 132)

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  • Title: An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793
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  • Published: over 7 years ago