• U.S.

Medicine: Yellow Fever

2 minute read

Yellow fever has been stamped out in the Americas; it still rages on the coast of West Africa. Ten years ago Dr. Hideyo

Noguchi discovered that American yellow fever was caused by a tiny organism which he named Leptospira icteroides; was carried by a common lady mosquito, Stegomyia calopus; that guinea pigs could be infected with the organism; that the mosquito would carry the infection from one animal to another ; that a horse serum could be prepared that would cure the disease if administered shortly after the infection. These facts known, the disease was conquered. The same process must be applied to West Africa. For over two years a Com mission of the Rockefeller Foundation has been at work on the problem in the U. S. and Africa. Progress has been held up because none of the experimental animals would contract the African form of yellow fever. In the end it was Dr. Noguchi him self who went to Accra on the West coast of Africa to experiment, was there taken to the hospital with yellow fever. On the fifth day when his high temperature was reluctantly dropping and the second stage of the disease had set in, he had a monkey from India (Macacus rhesus) inoculated with his infected blood. The monkey died twelve days later from a severe case of yellow fever. Fifty more monkeys were inoculated and succumbed. Finally serum from the blood of Patient Noguchi, recovering from the yellow fever, was administered and the protective antibodies pre vented animals from contracting yellow fever from a subsequent injection of the germ.

Bacteriologist Noguchi by his experiment has found the invading West African organism to be a more vicious member of the American Leptospira family, is now working on a vaccine.

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