Delaware County Medicine & Health Winter 2017 - 12

FEATURE

Yellow Fever
O

By Harry V. Armitage, M.D.

n July 29, 1870, under the heading
of Local Intelligence, The Republican,
Chester's newspaper, labeled as
false a report that there was yellow
fever at the Lazaretto in Delaware County and
that several deaths had been caused by this
disease. It was stated emphatically that there
was no truth in the rumor, and that two deaths
that had occurred at the quarantine station
during the summer season were attributable to
the excessive heat. It was mentioned that one
vessel had been held in quarantine on Tinicum
Island because her captain had died during the
passage from the West Indies to Philadelphia.
Actually the rumor was true; yellow fever
was, in fact, present at the Lazaretto. Several
people had died from the disease, and the
detained ship, the brig "Home," which had
sailed from Black River in Jamaica undoubtedly,
had carried some unwelcome passengers: Aedes
aegypti mosquitoes. Since the relationship
between yellow fever and mosquitoes had
not been recognized at that time, it may
be assumed that little attention was paid
to the presence of a few extra mosquitoes
on Tinicum Island in the month of July.

10 DELAWARE COUNTY MEDICINE & HEALTH

winter 2017



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Delaware County Medicine & Health Winter 2017

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