Also interesting from a historical perspective but the strength for me was the certainty that if we were hit like this now we'd probably be in the same kind of place. African Americans, as Keith acknowledges, tended not to be as well remembered in the fever's aftermath, and there is no comparable quoting Keith brings into the story from the diary of one of their moral exemplars. That does not sound like much, but in the United States a 2 percent mortality rate translated into over half a million deaths. By 1876 federal troops had been withdrawn from all the former Confederate states except Louisiana, South Carolina, and Florida. The unfortunate person who is infected by the mosquito gets sick three to six days later. The fever spread up the Mississippi Valley from New Orleans to Illinois and killed an estimated eighteen thousand people.
It is sobering to learn how the tragedy drew the black and white communities together to the point that doctors and nurses of both races worked side by side - and volunteers who labored during the epidemic ate together Very good book that retells the dramatic story of this epidemic, but also provides something more: a thoughtful detail about the social attitude of 1878 Memphis residents concerning women and African-Americans and how it overlayed the story of the city's experience and aftermath. ¹¹ A combination of knowledge and ignorance, confidence and fear distinguished the 1878 yellow fever epidemic from other historic outbreaks and makes it peculiarly relevant to twenty-first-century America. Army doctors did not discover that mosquitoes spread the fever until 1901. Fortified by her blood meal, the female then deposits between one hundred and two hundred eggs on the sides of a hole in a tree filled with rainwater, typically going from pool to pool and tree to tree to spread the egg batch around. Keith does a commendable job not only with the history and facts, but with the peo Keith recounts the 1878 Yellow Fever epidemic, which devastated Memphis. Keith recounts the 1878 Yellow Fever epidemic, which devastated Memphis. Try and keep the mosquito population down, y'all.
William Armstrong, one of the cadre of physicians pledged to stay in the stricken city, described a lonesomeness that was in itself, lonely, making a gloom that cannot be conceived of nor described on paper. They dispensed purgatives, laxatives, strong chemicals of almost random nature, and even prescribed alcohol. After months of controversy, southern Democrats in Congress acquiesced to a Republican victory in the presidential election. I found myself skimming the last few chapters, and in the end this was a struggle for me to read all the way through. My Great Grandfather was one who felt that it was better to protect his family than stay in what appeared to be the dying city of Memphis.
The transmission pattern peculiar to yellow fever made it difficult to single out any group, whether defined ethnically, racially, religiously, or behaviorally, and scapegoat that group for causing the fever. For story telling it get s a 3. On the other hand, the few individuals who came into the city, who defied warnings and common sense on errands of mercy or profit, talked about the stench. Although the majority of Tennesseans supported secession, most people in the eastern part of the state remained stubbornly loyal to the United. In 1878, a long summer, a virulent viral strain, and a lack of understanding of how Yellow Fever is transmitted conspired to create a particularly terrible epidemic.
The Mississippi River is at its widest point at Memphis and if you grew up with it you'll be spoiled forever for any other river - it's just that breathtaking, insinuating itself into your veins. Perhaps it was the nature of the primary source documents available. The city of Memphis, Tennessee, was particularly hard hit: Of the approximately twenty thousand who didn't flee the city, seventeen thousand contracted the fever, and more than five thousand died-the equivalent of a million New Yorkers dying in an epidemic today. Using the prisms of time and firsthand accounts, she lays bare many of the systemic problems--politics, racism, greed, and lingering Civil War resentment--that failed to protect the health and safety of all Memphians. This book, though dry in places, kept my attention through the whole thing.
Fever Season chronicles the drama in Memphis from the outbreak in August until the disease ran its course in late October. Using the vivid, anguished accounts and diaries of those who chose to stay and those who were left behind, Fever Season depicts the events of that summer and fall. Barbados suffered the first reported American yellow fever epidemic in 1647. William Armstrong and Kezia DePelchin, a 50-year-old volunteer nurse from Texas, though they could have found shelter elsewhere. What had happened to the city in 1878 could not be undone by any team of army doctors. The 1878 fever is the closest example we have of what a killer epidemic might be like today. This book is a compelling account of the Yellow Fever Epidemic in Memphis, Tennessee in 1878.
All sorts of theories were thought of as to the cause, the dominant one in this book was sanitation although as we now know it was the mosquito and the popular use of cistern not fresh water that was the culprit. Throughout the book, she mentions how exhausted people were and how they then came down with the disease. Relying upon diaries, newspaper articles, and letters, Keith, a Bloomsburg University history professor, provides a gripping account of the spread of the epidemic. Doctors and nurses haplessly prescribed medicines based on, it appears, the aim of cleaning off and cleaning out fomites within the body and without. The virus originates in tropical climes, and is believed to have come to America from ships carrying slaves from Africa. Whites swept through Memphis, burning black houses and schools, raping women, and murdering men.
I'll keep an eye out for other things she's written and wouldn't hesitate to read her again. The fever spread up the Mississippi Valley from New Orleans up to Illinois, killing ~18,000 people. Once the method of transmission was understood, it was relatively easy to stop the fever. Although the monkey does not get sick, it carries the virus. Yet science failed them, and their best organizational efforts could not keep the stench of death from pervading their city.
Her narration of the yellow fever epidemic in Memphis, Tennessee in 1878 breathes life into the people caught in the midst of great suffering and death. Her most recent book, Fever Season, is written for a general audience, and reflects her interest in the i Jeanette Keith grew up in rural Tennessee, obtained a PhD from Vanderbilt University, and is currently a history professor at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania. Fever Season is a story of how an epidemic's destruction helped create a city while destroying its people. As the mosquito fed off the crew, infecting them with fever, she deposited her eggs under the rims of water barrels. The author points out that African Americans served as policeman, helpers and nurses when some white doctors and prominent people fled the city.
Using the vivid, anguished accounts and diaries of those who chose to stay and those who were left behind, Fever Season depicts the events of that summer and fall. Fever season is a powerful testament to the fact that epidemics show every person the height of human goodness and the deep cellar of human greed and self interest. Perhaps it was the endless quotations Keith used, which come naturally to her as a PhD historian. Oldstone notes that black African peoples, although easily infected, nevertheless withstood the effects in that fewer died from the infection than did Caucasians. But, I never felt like I was there during the epidemic.