Friday, January 19, 2007

yellow fever and Aedes aegypti

Interesting facts about yellow fever, from Molly Caldwell Crosby's book, The American Plague:

yellow jack/coup de barre/vomito negro/saffron scourge/American plague
  • In New York, Greenwich Village would become known as "the Village" because it was safe haven outside of the city during yellow fever epidemics.
  • Napoleon would abandon his conquests in North America after losing 23,000 of his troops to yellow fever in the colony of Haiti. He made a hasty and fearful retreat from this pestilent hemisphere, selling his larger Louisiana holdings for cheap to Thomas Jefferson.
  • During the Civil War, yellow fever would serve as one of this country's first forms of biological warfare. And the Spanish-American War, at the close of the nineteenth centure, would be fought more against this fever than against the Spanish.
  • In 1878, Memphis, Tennessee would suffer losses greater than the Chicago fire, San Francisco earthqualke, and Johnstown flood combined.