Tag archives for Suzanne Jurmain
BOOK NAME: The Secret of the Yellow Death: A True Story of Medical Sleuthing
AUTHOR: Suzanne Jurmain
Do you remember the last time you were sick…really sick? Did you have an icy chill that coursed through your body, followed by a horrible head ache and painful stomach ache, an excessive temperature, yellowing skin and eyes, black vomit containing blood, violent muscle spasms, and excessive bleeding? I assume your symptoms weren’t as severe as the ones that were mentioned. The symptoms being described are linked to one of the most deadly and mysterious diseases in the medical world, yellow fever.
Throughout history, yellow fever has killed over 100,000 people. Both the yellow fever germ and its infecting agent pretty much remained a mystery to scientists for a long time. In a major outbreak in the early 1900s, a group of dedicated scientists decided to try and crack the case of the unknown killer. Walter Reed was the leader of this group of scientists. His co-workers were Jesse Lazear, Aristides Agramonte, and James Carrol. Carlos Finlay was a scientist who conducted independent research and studies related to yellow fever. Through long months of hard work, a complicated series of experiments, and countless failures, this team of scientists searched for answers on why this disease was taking so many lives. Then something finally arose. The work of brave volunteers, dedicated research, and even the tragic death of a scientist, helped one of the greatest medical breakthroughs in history be made, the prevention of yellow fever.
This is the first non-fiction book that I blogged on this year. Yellow fever and the scientists’ quest to discover its source seems like something out of a science fiction movie. All of the odds were against them since they knew very little about the yellow fever germ and how it spread. I am amazed at the teamwork, perseverance, and logic of the scientists trying to crack the yellow fever case. Despite the risks and the fact that they had very little information on yellow fever, the scientists still managed to find the preventative strategies to save thousands of people all over the world from getting infected with yellow fever. The gruesome description of the disease that I referred to earlier was based off of all of the detailed information in the book. The book is short, making it a quick read during your spare time, so I highly recommend picking it up. Another amazing thing is that many modern day scientists are trying to find preventative measures and cures for diseases that are just as mysterious as yellow fever. In fact, a new cure for a disease may be found while you are reading this blog!