I was caught by the ironic juxtaposition of your front page coverage of COVID-19, reported by Sherry Hamilton, and Elsa Verbyla’s story of yellow fever in 1855, the Victorian era. Two unknown viruses. Both with no known cure or vaccine. And their course through the Norfolk area then and in our modern enlightened community today.
Yellow fever kills 20 to 50 percent of infected persons who develop the disease. It still remains virulent in Africa and India today. It took 50 years before our local physician hero, Walter Reed, finally developed a vaccine which can deter the epidemic characteristics of the virus. But as the Mayo Clinic website notes, even in the 21st century we have no effective treatment for yellow fever once you have it. Its main carrier, called a vector in disease control jargon, is a common mosquito in Northern Neck communities … Aedes agypti.
Just walk out in the backyard any evening in Gloucester, Mathews or anywhere on the Ware River...
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