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1793 Yellow Fever What is Yellow Fever? Yellow Fever is a disease that is carried and spread by mosquitoes during hot and damp summer months. It originated in Africa and was presented to America through the Triangular Trade routes.
What Happened In 1793? The first major outbreak of Yellow Fever occurred in Philadelphia Pennsylvania.
It began in July 1793 and peaked in October.
Signs and Symptoms Phase 1:
Flu-like symptoms... muscle aches, vomiting, headache
48 hour remission, where most people improve and often recover.
Phase 3: Only 50% of people who make it to this stage survive.
Multi-system Organ Failure
http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/yellowfever.htm Out of the 55,000 citizens of Philadelphia, 5,000 died. More than 17,000 fled the city in fear of the disease. How were people effected? Key Figures Nearly 100 people died per day!! Benjamin Rush was a well known doctor of the time. He believed the fever came from rotting coffee left on the docks. His approach was to bleed patients and to use large dosages of mercury in their bodies. His tactics were known as "heroic medicine." African American Volunteers: Rush believed that African Americans' were immune to Yellow Fever and asked them to stay in Philadelphia to bury the bodies and nurse the sick. He was proven wrong when the death rate rose among the black community. Absalom Jones and Richard Allen were two of the African American helpers who were the most well known. The Bush Hill Hospital Housed the poor who were sick with Yellow Fever. They were appallingly understaffed and needed aid. Dr. Jean Devèze, recommended by Stephen Girard was just the help needed. Devèze refused to believe that Yellow Fever was contagious and became an authority on cures for the disease. Chaos and Mass Destruction!!