Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
The Great Fever
Toward an Understanding of Yellow Fever

There is no cure for yellow fever, a deadly disease that ravaged the United States since the nation was founded. Although Carlos Finlay presented his theory that the disease was transmitted through mosquitoes in 1881, it was not until the experiments of Walter Reed and his team in 1900 that public health officials acted on those findings.

Nineteenth century letters are filled with terrible stories of families and cities ravaged by the disease. Equally frightening are the official medical dispatches of the time that demonstrate how desperate and confused physicians tried multiple treatments for yellow fever, all to no avail.

back to top page created on 9.29.2006

The Great Fever American Experience

Exclusive Corporate Funding is provided by: