Yellow fever transmission experiment, 1900

Yellow fever transmission experiment, 1900

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Credit: OTIS HISTORICAL ARCHIVES, NATIONAL MUSEUM OF HEALTH AND MEDICINE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Yellow fever transmission experiment. Letter from US Army physician Walter Reed (1851-1902) to Lieutenant Truby, postmarked 10 December 1900, concerning the experiments being carried out on yellow fever transmission. Sent from the barracks at Columbia Camp in Cuba, Reed thanks Truby for the mosquitoes he sent, and says that 'the theory is alright!', referring to the transmission theory Reed was testing. Reed specialised in the study of epidemic diseases, and had been appointed to investigate yellow fever in Cuba. His experiments with human volunteers took place over three phases, with several of the volunteers dying of the disease. The results showed that yellow fever was spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. This discovery played a key role in campaigns to reduce the spread of this disease.

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