Who Discovered Yellow Fever ?

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Who Discovered Yellow Fever ?

It is believed that yellow fever actually started from Africa, either East Africa or Central Africa. From here the disease then spread to West Africa. The yellow fever virus and the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the carrier of the virus, then found their way to South America after the year 1492. The first outbreak of yellow fever most probably occurred Yucatan in the year 1648.

Earlier it was believed that yellow fever was transmitted from an infected person to an uninfected person via touch. However, it was a doctor from Cuba named Carlos Finlay, who first put forward the theory that the disease was actually spread by mosquito bites. Therefore, he should actually get the credit for making statement as it led more research. However, it was Walter Reed who proved that the disease was transmitted by mosquitoes.

Once it was understood how the virus was transmitted, Doctor William Gorgas was instrumental in eradicating the disease from Havana, and later from Panama when the Panama Canal was being constructed.

The virus that causes yellow fever was identified in the year 1927 in West Africa, and this led to the creation of two vaccines against the virus in the nineteen thirties. The first vaccine against the fever was created by Max Theiler for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize. The second vaccine was developed by a team French researchers, but the vaccine was discontinued in 1961 as it caused a large number of people to develop encephalitis. Max Theiler's vaccine, the D17, is still being used in modern times. However, newer vaccines are being developed and it is believed that these new vaccines will soon replace the D17.

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Who Discovered Yellow Fever