An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 Themes

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Another thing that hit the city of Philadelphia during the devastating 1793 yellow fever epidemic in addition to the illness was panic and fear—emotions that reached into all levels of the community. Dr. Benjamin Rush was the first physician to suspect that the rapidly spreading illness was the dreaded yellow fever. Other doctors were reluctant to agree with him, or if they did concur in his conclusion, to voice it openly. The reason for the doctors' hesitation in declaring the possibility that the epidemic was yellow fever was that the mere mention of the words would bring about sheer panic and fear in the streets of the city. However, had the doctors reacted more quickly to the yellow fever epidemic, perhaps more lives would have been saved.

Yellow fever was known to kill fifty percent of its victims. Many in the medical field felt that...

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This section contains 1,154 words
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Buy the An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 Study Guide
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