Friday, March 31, 2017

Geek Highways: "Yellowjack" Walter Reed's Birthplace


Down a quiet road in a remote part of Gloucester County, Virginia, is the tiny house that was the birthplace of Walter Reed. Reed was the Army doctor who led the team that established that "Yellowjack" -- Yellow Fever -- was spread not by contact but by mosquito bites. This and other discoveries make him one of the fathers of epidemiology.

There I am, yesterday, in front of the house. Really, it should have been Marianne since so much of her work involved epidemiology. But life isn't always fair. Dr. Reed always credited Cuban doctor Carlos Finlay for discovering the disease vector and how to control it. Alas, we have only room in our memories for one name when crediting such things.

But, as either doctor would have told you, credit is a minor thing. What most matters is the number of lives saved, the sheer mass of human misery prevented.

For which we can thank those two men and all those who worked with them.

And, remarkably enough....

Remember Ardudwy, Will Jenkins'/Murray Leinster's house, which I blogged about yesterday? It's maybe two miles, certainly no more, from the Walter Reed birthplace. There are hidden patterns everywhere.


No comments: