The Deadly Puzzle of Yellow Fever

8/27/1900 – Dr. Jesse Lazear, a U.S. Army surgeon, walks into Las Animas Hospital Yellow Fever ward in Havana Cuba, toting a brood of mosquitos. He has the system down: remove the cotton stopper that keeps the mosquito penned in its glass vial, turn the vial over, and seal it against a consenting infected patient’s skin. Chasing the source of Yellow Fever, scientists try to understand this deadly plague by running a high-stakes medical experiment on human subjects. But today, those subjects will include themselves. Why did ordinary people—and the doctors running the experiment—willingly and knowingly consent to take part in this study? And when we look back, should we be horrified... or impressed?


Special thanks to our guests: Dr. Kathryn Olivarius of Stanford University and author of, Necropolis: Disease, Power, and Capitalism in the Cotton Kingdom, as well as Molly Crosby author of, The American Plague: The Untold Story of Yellow Fever the Epidemic That Shaped Our History.


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