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William Gorgas, American yellow fever pioneer

William Gorgas, American yellow fever pioneer

H407/0169

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

William Gorgas. Portrait of William Crawford Gorgas (1854-1920), American physician and pioneer of using anti-mosquito techniques to combat yellow fever. Gorgas, a physician in the American Army, was in Cuba in 1900 when Walter Reed identified the mosquito Aedes aegypti as the carrier of yellow fever. Using this information, Gorgas began a programme of draining or covering mosquito breeding grounds, fumigation and covering of yellow fever patients with nets. This programme virtually eliminated yellow fever from Cuba. In 1904-13 he successfully applied the same methods to the area around the Panama Canal construction site, cutting the mortality rate from 10% to zero.

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