Yellow Fever

By Nate Nelson

Stats/annual cases and deaths

About 20-50% of the people who get this disease die. It is one of the great epidemic diseases of tropical areas. Certain cities in the USA have had more outbreaks than others such as: Philadelphia with 20 epidemics, New York City with 25, Boston with 8, and New Orleans had more than 23. There are about 200,000 cases and 30,000 deaths annually. The disease is responsible for about 900 million deaths between Africa and Latin America alone.


A mild case may only be fever, headache, nausea, and vomiting. For 5/6 days there is an incubation period where you may not experience symptoms at all. Then the disease may enter a toxic phase that is fatal. Symptoms of the toxic phase may be: Yellowing of skin, vomiting blood, little to no appetite, dizziness, and red eyes, face or tongue. You can die within 6 or 7 days of symptoms appearing.

Prevention/treatment and cure

Wearing Protective netting or attire. Getting the vaccine before traveling to affected areas. The disease is preventable by the vaccine but once you have it the vaccine won't help. There is no real cure for this disease. Recovery is long but once you have recovered you have life long immunity to the disease.

Organ/Organ systems affected

The heart, liver, and kidney are affected, and the digestive, urinary, and circulatory systems are affected by yellow fever.

Cause Transmit and Location

Mostly in Africa and South America. Spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Infects all humans, monkeys, and some other small mammals

History of Yellow Fever

Carlos Finlay

Carlos was born on December 3, 1833. He was home schooled until he enrolled in college, he then earned his M.D. on March 10, 1855. Carlos joined the National Health Board Yellow Fever Commission. For the next twenty years he tried to prove his theory that yellow fever was transmitted by mosquitoes. During this time he conducted over 102 experiments on human and non human subjects. After proving his theory Finlay worked as the chief sanitary officer of Cuba until he retired in 1909. Carlos Finlay died on August 20, 1915.

Jesse Lazear

Jesse was born in 1866 and graduated from John Hopkins University in 1889. He married in 1896. Lazear joined the army to help further his research in yellow fever. He worked along with Carlos Finlay and Walter Reed for many years. Lazear fell ill from experimenting on himself. Lazear died of yellow fever on Sep. 15, 1900 at the age of 34.

Walter Reed

Walter was born on September 13, 1851. He got his M.D. in July 1869. He was born on the Brooklyn Board of Health in 1873. He married and had two children. In his work he was usually the only doctor withing a 200 mile radius. He went to Cuba and studied yellow fever to find how it was transmitted. He received many awards and degrees for his work on yellow fever.In November 1902 he fell ill. Walter Reed died on November 23 from peritontis.

Famous people who died from yellow fever

Louis Moreau Gottschalk was a famous pianist/composer. Richard A. Proctor was a famous astronomer who is best known for one of the earliest maps of mars. Benjamin Latrobe was a famous architect who is best known for designing the US Capital building.
Bamboula - Louis Moreau Gottschalk

Main History

The epidemics are all around the world (mostly in Africa and South America). Very large death toll. Many different names like, "Vomito Negro", or "yellow Jack". Written accounts of this disease go back up to three and a half centuries. The diseases birthplace has been debated on many times. It is thought by some scientists and researchers that the Atlantic slave trades brought yellow fever over to South America. South America is where it was first documented but some still say it was "born" in Africa. European travelers and others were more susceptible to the disease than African and South American people who seemed to develop a sort of immunity. The cause was not known before the 1900's. Before they knew the cause they thought it may have been waste or rotting animals. Some soldiers volunteered to be experimented on to help find what the cause of yellow fever was.