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.. THE MOSQUITO THEORY
How it Was Tested and Proved at Havana. 'The Clear
Demonstration That the Stegomyia and It Alone
Transmits the Yellow Fever. Convincing Proof
of This Made by United States Experts and
'Iime.-Democr t. july 29.
We give below the details of the
famous investigation made in Havana
in I1NN) ahd 1901 by the American
Military t ommission, composed of
Major W. Reed. M. D., and Drs. J.
Carroll. A. Agramonte and 1. W.
Lazear. which established the mos
quito theory of the origin of yellow
fever beyond all question and paved
the way to the emancipation of
Havana from a disease which had
prevailed there for a century and a
hall. atx ccount of which has already
been given in the States. In these
experiments Major Reed. with other
oleers sno privates of the United
States army, risked their lives in the
demonstration. Assistant Surgeon
Lazear lost his life in the attempt.
Major Reed succumbed three years
ago to an attack of appendicitis in
the city of Washington.
Major Walter Reed was born in
Gloucester county, Va., in 1851. He
was the son of the Rev. Lemuel Sut
ton Reed. $e received a fair primary
education and then went to the Uni
versity of Virginia to study medicine,
graduating in 1868, when only seven
teen years of age. He secured a
second degree at Bellevue Medical
College in New York and then served
in the Brooklyn and Blackwell's
Island. Ihospital. Before he was
twenty-cue he was a district physician
in New York, and at twenty-two was
one of the Eve inspectors of the
Board of Health of Brooklyn. He
went Into the United States army as
assistpat surgeop with the rank of
first lieatemant in 1875, and during
the next eighteen years served in
Arlsona, Nebraska, Dakota and in
the Southerm and Eastern States. He
was always an indefabgable student
ama q pioneer. In 18S9 he wUSs to
Baltimore, working in she laborsato
ries of Johns Hopklns University.
IJan 181hwas made surgeon with the
reak of major and was detailed in
Washington as ecrator of the Army
Medilal Museum and profession of
bleeriology as the Army Medical
School. He won high pre se for his
writings. and became an expert in
avestigating ihe causes of epidemic
diigess. at military posts and in
me~id n~ taryýinspectiorns. During
*~Spspidh-Amerissn war he was
uuhutseldas tihue sd of the board to
Malay ae eausateon and spread of
typhalt in the camps of the volunteer
troOps, asd the report of the com
*edesuie,S mainummsal work, is now
In estrss of publieation by the gov
uieanmt and is espected to serve as
a basis fr ftoure study of the epi
dentalogy of typhos fever.
s grIssat work in Caba, in demoe
stesting that yelw lever is grias
uadli by the moegutlt is thus betlsly
deseribsd in a memoir published last
year by the Walter Reed Memorial
Aaisselida av Washington.
1p YrUgr Or TUArW 1avaV.
Iia4i .dS, , Major Reed was seml
ye lls pop -prefMasa of a board to
864- fhe tIideates di asms of the
* e @ .. .aspsisay ysea.w
Sp w Aselasts wick him mr
SBAmba g S eor s James
VO15si, inase. W. Ls.ser snd A.
Apgant At this time the Amern.
taailitin. in Cubs bed for a
s*huk .mhedea o dials.
4g ! and i mortalty of the
. wms by geseral sanitary
:-a e'. huihhs a of thu
M :t, srl s en senseir Mrh a I er.
srise a . mta ly had greatly
0 baf etsaha rdler twer-lis appened
hadte saleeey mubuedes by these
e m la n s s, wsemsiso sn large
a uselemame feneigoers, the
Rswanad in Q -smados, sear se
IAr s nib e o-ps, sa mat y
tu at be Amleses Usen
umss* hflans. the arse
! aouess alem.
pheek the *e56% bas t '
WO, puty4e u
advanced the theory that a mosquito
conveyed the unknown cause of yel
low fever, hut did not succeed in
demonstrating the truth of his theory.
Dr. H. R. Carter of the Marine
Hospital Service had written a paper
showing that although the lwriod of
;ncuhation was only five days. yet a
house to which a patient was carried
did not become infected for from
fifteen to twenty (lays.
CAUSE OF YELLOW FEVER.
To Reed's mind this indicated that
the unknown infective agent has to
undergo a period of incubation of
from ten to fifteen days and probably
in the body of the biting insect.
Up to this time the' most generally
accepted theory as to the causation of
yellow fever wn that of Sanarelli,
who claimed that the bacillus icete
roids discovered by him was the
specific agent of the disease. Major
Reed, in association with Dr. Carroll,
had, however, already demonstrated
that this bacillus was one widely dis
seminated in the United States. and
bore no such relation to yellow fever.
In June, July and August, 1900, the
commission gave their entire atten
tion to the bacteriological study of
the blood of yellow fever patients and
the post mortem examination of the
organs of those dying of the disease.
In twenty-four cases where the blood
was repeatedly examined, as well as
in eleven carefully studied autopsies,
bacillus iceteroids were not dis
covered, nor was there any indication
of the presence in the blood of a
specile cause of the disease.
Application was made to Gen.
Leonard Wood, the military Gov
ernor of Cuba, for permission to con
duct experiments. on nonimmune per
sons, and a liberal sum of money
requested for the purpose of reward
ing volunteers who would submit
themselves to experiments.
It was indeed fortunate that the
military Governor of Cuba was a man
who, by his breadth of mind and
special scientific training, could
readily appreciate the arguments of
Major Reed as to the value of the
`Money and full authority to pro
ceed were promptly granted, and to
the everlasting glory of the American
soldier volunteers from the army
offered themselves for experiment in
plenty and with the utmost fearless
IRATH OF DR. LAzEBAL
Before the arrangements were en
tirely completed Dr. Carroll, a mem
ber of the commission allowed him
self to be bitten by a mosquito that
twelve days previously had filled it
self with the blood of a yellow fever
patient. He suffered from a very
severe attack, and his was the first
experimensal case. Dr. Lazear also
experimented on himself at the same
time, but was not infected. Some
days later, while in the yellow fever
ward, he was bitten by a mosquito
sad moted the fact carefully. He ac
quired the disease In its most terrible
form and died a martyr to science and
s true hero.
No other fatality occurred among
the brave .en who in the course of
the experiments willingly exposed
thmselves to the infection of the
A eaosp was especially constructed
for the experifsste, about four miles
fbee Havana. c'ristesed Camp
Lamar an homer et the dead comrade.
The Inmates of the camp were put in
to aet rigid quarantine and ample
tie was allowed to eliminate any
possibility of the disease being
breaghti h from Havana.
The personnel consisted of three
aurses and nine nonimmunes, all in
se iilitary service, and included
1l .Mm to time Spanish immi
grwats, newly arrived, were brought
Ia. frent the immigrant station: a per
to eah ktnowa to be Immune was not
siaored 0 leave comp, or if he did,
ways atam t ueen
2mssesseless re-ord was kept
i~lt at ivery man to be ex
- #' shs e`lminattg
bred from the eggs and kept in a
building s'creened by wire-netting.
When an insect was wanted for an
experiment it was taken into a yellow
fever hospital and allowed to fill itself
with the blood of a patient, afterward,
at varying intervals from the time of
this meal of blood, it was purposely
applied to nonimmunes in camp.
"In December five cases of the
disease were developed as the result
of such applications, in January
three and in February two, making in
all ten, exclusive of the cases of Drs.
Carroll and Lazear. Immediately
upon the appearance of the first recog
nized symptoms of the disease, in any
one of these experimental cases, the
patient was takn from Camip Lazear
to a yellow fever hospital, one mile
distant. Every person in camp was
rigidly protected from accidental
mosquito bites. and not in a single
instance did yellow fever develop in
the camp except at the will of the ex
perimenters. The experiments were
conducted at a season when there was
the least chance of naturally acquir
ing the disease and the mosquitoes
used were kept active by maintaining
them at a summer temperature. A
completely mosquito-proof building
was divided into two compartments
by a wire screen partition: infected
insects were liberated on one side
only. A brave nonimmune entered
and remained long enough to allow
himself to be bitten several times. He
was attacked by yellow fever. while
two susceptible men in the other com
partment did not acquire the disease,
although sleeping there thirteen
nights. This demonstrates in the
simplest and most certain manner
that the infectiousness of the building
was due only to the presence of the
"Every attemp was made to infect
individuals by means of bedding,
clothes and other articles that had
been used and soiled by patients
suffering with virulent yellow fever.
A CONVINCING REPORT.
`'Naturally yellow fever is trans
mitted by the mosquito, and always
and only by the mosquito. The harm
lessness of fomites has been fully
demonstrated by our experiments in
1900 and 1901, in which three young
Americans slept for twenty consecu
tive nights in a room from which
mosquitoes were excluded garnished
with articles soiled with discharges
from fatal and other cases of yellow
fever. Three and four large boxes
were packed and unpacked each morn
ing by these non-immunes, who suf
fered no disturbance of health from
these exposures. The room was
twenty feet by fourteen feet, double
walled, tightly sealed, heated to above
90 degrees Fahrenheit and dark.
"Two other non-immunes then oc
cupied the room for twenty nights,
while additional articles of bedding
and clothing were added. They slept
in the garments and between the sheets
that had covered eases of yellow
fever, some of which were fatal. The
result of the second attempt was nil.
A third attemp was then made with
two additional non-immunes. equally
without success. Not the slightest
indisposition followed close and in
timate contact with this repulsive
material in any case. Temperatures
and pulse rates were recorded at
regular and frequent intervals. Four
of these seven. non-immunes were
subsequently infected by blood injec
tions and by means of infected mos
"Another kind of experiment was
included in the Cuban investigations
of yellow fever. A room was pre
pared so as to prelude the possibility
of infection by fomites (infected
articles.) Every article contained in
the room had been previously disin
fected and was thoroughly clean.
The only possible means of infection
with yellow fever was by infected
mosquitoes, liberated in the . room
containing the human subjects of the
experiment. Yellow fever promptly
followed the introduction of mosqui
toes into the room.
WHAT anmanrLENTS PROVED.
Besides the experimental cases
caused by mosquito bites, four non
immunes were infected by injecting
blood drawn directly from the veins
of yellow bver patients in the £rst
two days of the disease, thus demon
strating the presence of an infectious
agent in the blood at this early
period of the attack.
Even the blood serum of a patient,
passed through a bacteria-proof Alter
was found to be capable of causing
yellow fever in another person.
"The details of the experiments are
most iatsraslng, but it ameas here suf
Lee to briesy esm up the principal
comeaesmus of this admirable board
ot nvestigaubes of which Reed was
the muster mimi.'
'-6 l. agen ia A* cmass
tion of yellow fever exists in the
blood of a patient for the first three
days of his attack, after which time
he ceases to be a menace to the health
"2. A mosquito of a single species
stegomyia faciata. ingesting the
blood of the patient during this in
fective period is powerless to convey
the disease to another person by its
bite until about twelve days have
elapsed. but can do so thereafter for
an indefinite period, probably during
the remainder of its life.
"3. The disease can not be spread
in any other way than by the bite of
the previously infected stegomyia.
Articles used or soiled by patients do
not carry infection.
* These conclusions pointed so
clearly to tne practical method of ex
terminating the disease that they were
at once accepted by the sanitary
authorities in Cuba and put to the
test in Havana. where for nearly a
century and a half. by actual record.
the disease had never failed to appear
HAVANA FREE FROM FEVER.
"In February. 1901. the chief sani
tary officer in Havana. Hajor W. C.
Gorgas. medical depertment of the
United States army, instituted mneas
ures to eradicate the disease, based
entirely on the conclusions of the
commission. Cases of yellow fever
were required to be reported as
promptly as possible: the patient was
at tiat rigidly isolated, and imme
diately upon the report a force of men
from the sanitary department visited
the house. All the rooms of the build
ing and of the neighboring houses
were sealed and fumigated to destroy
the mosquitoes present. Window and
door screens were put up and after
the death or recovery of the patient
his room was fumigated and every
mosquito destroyed. A war of exter
mination was also waged against
mosquitoes in general, and an ener
getic effort was made to diminish the
number bred by draining standing
water, screening tanks and vessels,
using petroleum on water that' could
not be drained, and in the most sys
tematic manner destroying the breed
ing places of the insect.
"When the warm season returned a
few cases occurred, but by September,
1901, the last case of yellow fever
originated in Havana, since which
time the city has been entirely ex
empt from the terrible disease that
had there kept strong hold for 1501
years. Cases are now admitted into
Havana from Mexican ports, but are
treated under screens with perfect
impunity in the ordinary city hospit
als. The crusade against the insects
also caused a very large decrease in
More recent investigations into the
cause and spread of yellow fever
have only succeeded in verifying the
work of Reed and his commission in
every particular and adding very
little to our knowledge of the disease.
Later researches by Guiteras in
FIRE, LIFE AND ACCIDENT
Phenix Insurance Co., of Brookland, N. Y.
Orient Insurence Co., of Hartford. Conn.
Royal Exchange Assurance Co., of London.
New Hausphire Insurance Co., of Manchester.
Citizens Insuranee Co., of Missuri.
St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co., of St. Paul Minn.
Philedelphia Underwriters of Philadelphia, Pa.
Hanover Fire Insurance Co., of New York.
Mutual Life Insurance Company, of New York.
Metropolitian Plate Glass & Casualty Co.
Two ires happened in our community only a short
time ago, one at Carencro, the other at Breaux Bridge,
who knows but it may be Lafayett's turn next.
See your Insurance agent and have him write up your
property. A stitch in time often saves nine.
A policy on your life in the utual Life Insurance
Co. of New York, is a nice Christmas present for your
We solicit a share of your patronage,
NICKERSON BROS., Agents.
WOOD AND COAL YARD AND GRIST kL.
100 Cords of )ry Ash Stove Wood and
30 Cars of Pittsburg Lamp Coal on
hand. Cors groand every day.
DUHON & PEOC.
Ords peasptly delivered. Phea.Ef 4l
Havana. by the Public Hlealth and
Marine Hospital Service in Vers
Cruz, and lastly by the delegation
from the Pasteur Institute of Paris In
Rio de Janeiro, all confirm ap the
most convincing manner both the
accuracy and comprehensiveness of
the conclusions of the American com
mission. It has been well said that
Reed's experiments will always re
main as models in the annals of
scientific research, both for the ex
actnes, with which they were adapted
to the points to be proved and the
precautions taken that no experiment
should be vitiated by failure to ex
clude all possible sources of error.
Appr*ciation of heed's work was
instant in the scientific world. Hon
orary degrees from Harvard Univer
sity and the University of Michigan
were conferred upon him, learned
societies and distinguished men
delighted to honor him and after his
death Congress voted a special pen
sion to his widow.
i. H. C. SALLES,
Otlice on Buchanan Street,
LAFAYKTTE, - - LOUISIANA.
B. J. LACOUIR,
Office in Mouton Sisters' B'ldg.
LAFAYETTE - - I'"
ATTORNEY AT LAW
Office Second Floor, Bank of Lafavette.
H. P. BEELER,
Office on Liaceln Avenue,
LAFAYETTE. - LOUISIANA.
CHAS. D. CAFFERY,
Office on Madison St., Lafayette, La.
C. DEBAILLON, JULIAN MOUTON
Attorneys at Law.
OFFICE AT LAFAYETTE, LA.
Notary in office.
C. 8. baian. 0. 3.
Office, Main St., near Johnston Ave.
LAFAYETTE, - LA.
L. 0. CLARK, L S..M. D.
Office over Mouton Sisters' Store.
Office Hours: !?
LAFAYETTE, - - - LA.