The epidemic of yellow fever virus that hit memphis in 1878

Her population had doubled during the s in spite of war and occupation, and by it had reached nearly 48, She lay almost midway between New Orleans and St. Louis and had rail and river connections to all the major cities and growing markets of the South.

The epidemic of yellow fever virus that hit memphis in 1878

Yellow Fever Epidemic of The Yellow Fever Epidemic of struck during the summer in PhiladelphiaPennsylvania, where the highest fatalities in the United States were recorded. The disease probably was brought by refugees and mosquitoes on ships from Saint-Domingue.

It rapidly spread in the port city, in the crowded blocks along the Delaware River. About people died, ten percent of the population of 50, The city was then the national capital, and the national government left the city, including President George Washington.

Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York suffered repeated epidemics in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as did other cities along the East and Gulf coasts.

Some historians believe Napoleon intended to use the island as a staging point for an invasion of the United States through Louisiana then newly regained by the French from the Spanish. Only one-third of the French troops survived to return to France, and in the new republic of Haiti declared its independence.

The press and the medical profession did not alert citizens of the outbreak until the middle of July, after more than one thousand people had already died. The New Orleans business community feared that word of an epidemic would cause a quarantine to be placed on the city, and their trade would suffer.

In such epidemics, steamboats frequently carried passengers and the disease upriver from New Orleans to other cities along the Mississippi River. The epidemic was dramatized and featured in the plot of the film Jezebelstarring Bette Davis. Yellow fever was a threat in New Orleans and south Louisiana virtually every year, during the warmest months.

Among the more prominent victims were: Spanish colonial Governor Manuel Gayoso de Lemos ; the first and second wives d.

Yellow Fever - the plague of Memphis

John Bell Hood and his wife and daughter The Howard Associationa benevolent organization, was formed to help coordinate assistance in the form of funds, supplies, and medical professionals and volunteers, who poured in from many other areas, particularly the Atlantic and Gulf Coast areas of the United States.

The deaths in Texas included Union Maj. Sam Houstonand at least two young physicians and their family members. Louis south was affected, and tens of thousands fled the stricken cities of New Orleans, Vicksburgand Memphis.

An estimatedcases of yellow fever resulted in some 20, deaths. Some contemporary accounts said that commercial interests had prevented the rapid reporting of the outbreak of the epidemic, increasing the total number of deaths.

People still did not understand how the disease developed or was transmitted, and did not know how to prevent it.


Entire families were killed, while others fled their homes for the presumed safety of other parts of the state. Quarantine regulations, passed to prevent the spread of the disease, brought trade to a stop.

Some local economies never recovered. Beechland, near Vicksburg, became a ghost town because of the epidemic. By the end of the year, 3, people had died from the disease. Although malaria was also a serious problem for the French canal builders, the numerous yellow fever fatalities and the fear they engendered made it difficult for the French company to retain sufficient technical staff to sustain the effort.

Since the mode of transmission of the disease was unknown, the French response to the disease was limited to care of the sick.In and , Southern cities such as Memphis, Tennessee, and New Orleans, Louisiana, were devastated by epidemics of yellow fever.

The epidemic of yellow fever virus that hit memphis in 1878

Citizens of Arkansas were also affected by the disease, leading to controversial quarantine measures that prohibited travel in parts of the state and also restricted the transportation of materials such as recently harvested cotton.

– Fifth yellow fever epidemic: 17, cases, 5, deaths. Sixth yellow fever epidemic: 2, cases, deaths. The outbreak had seemed catastrophic, coupled as it was with the generally disorganized civil services in place at war’s end.

The yellow fever epidemic in Memphis proved to be fatal, killing almost all who got infected.

The epidemic of yellow fever virus that hit memphis in

The disease traveled up from New Orleans infecting and killing many on its way. Memphis was going through reconstruction and was becoming the center for merchants and travelers.

Furthermore, Memphis. Three-dimensional visualization of cultural clusters in the yellow fever epidemic of New Orleans.


Yellow fever and New Orleans. Yellow fever is a virus of the genus Flavivirus, The yellow fever epidemic of , in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis, Printed for the Howard Association; An epidemic claimed 2, in Memphis, a number which constituted at the time the most yellow fever victims in an inland city.

In a mild winter, a long spring, and a torrid summer produced favorable conditions for the breeding of Aedes aegypti and thus the spread of the fever.

First victim of Memphis yellow-fever epidemic dies On this day in , Kate Bionda, a restaurant owner, dies of yellow fever in Memphis, Tennessee, after a man who had escaped a quarantined.

Yellow Fever - Encyclopedia of Arkansas