Yellow Jack

Yellow Jack


  • Yellow Jack

Published Date

  • published 1941


[page 8]
Throughout the epidemic the board of health tried to confine the
plague to certain sections of the city and give 24-hour-a-day attention to
the increasing number of victims. Half a dozen prominent local
physicians, with others who had offered their assistance, lost their lives
before it was reported, on November 26, that no new cases had
developed. Three days later, Thanksgiving services were held in all the
churches, and citizens who had fled during the scourge began to return
to their homes. (8)

An Epochal Discovery

Statistics of the Jacksonville epidemic and others throughout the
State showed that the fever always appeared in hot weather and
subsided after the first frost in the fall. On some occasions it persisted
during cool weather, but almost invariably vanished when temperatures
fell below the 50-degree mark. Physicians concluded, therefore, that the
frost killed the microbes, and were experimenting with carbolic acid, lime
and other chemicals to find a "hot-weather" germ killer when Dr. Carlos
Finley of Havana suggested that a species of mosquito was spreading the
disease. His theory was proven correct by Doctor Walter Reed and a
group of other United States Army doctors, surgeons and enlisted men,
who conducted a series of experiments at Camp Columbia, Cuba, in
1900 after the fever had broken out among soldiers there. (9)

This epochal discovery was followed quickly by mosquito-control
measures at Havana, Panama, and South American seaports. In 15 months