Introduction to another species of mosquito: the Aedes aegypti mosquito was discovered by Carlos Finlay (1833-1915) to be the vector of the often fatal disease known as yellow fever. It is illustrated on a stamp from Panama, because this disease had a very significant effect on the construction of the Panama canal. Note the misspelling on the stamp.
I learned about the UN issue that was posted on April 19 - does anyone want to guess what the cartoon images represent? I think 2 of them are viruses (with the small protrusions on the outside), and the 2 circular ones on the left are blood cells.
What might the 'green' at the bottom and the 'star' at the top be?
It is still the International Week of Nurses, so it is more than appropriate to honor all nurses who gave the ultimate gift - their lives to help the ill. Clara Maass let herself be infected by mosquitos carrying the yellow fever pathogen and died of the disease. She was one of the very first to give informed consent for a potentially fatal medical experiment. She was part of the team of the Yellow Fever Commission.
(Welcome Condor, good to hear that you appreciate the thread. I wouldn't be able to say that any of the pathogens seen in the UN stamp are real representations of viruses or bacteria or single-celled parasites - I see them more as an artistic attempt to put everything together on one microscope slide. I worked with light and electron microscopes for decades and know how difficult it can be to see viruses. Greetings, K.)
Florence Nightingale (1820–1910) is honored for her work in reforming the conditions for the wounded and ill in the Crimean War and later establishing high standards and founding modern nursing. More soldiers had been dying of infectious diseases such as typhoid and cholera than from wounds. She worked day and night, becoming known as the Lady with the Lamp as she checked on the ill at night. (Note misspelling on German stamp of 1955) Today is International Nurses Day, her birthday.
Another tribute to Carlos Finlay, Cuban epidemiologist, who discovered the connection between the Aedes mosquito and the spread of yellow fever. It wasn't until years later that the virus itself was discovered.
Way back in the 16th century Spanish explorers recognized the possibilities of digging a canal through the Panama isthmus. The project was begun by the French three centuries later. One of the factors leading to the failure of their attempt was yellow fever, killing thousands of workers from France and the West Indies. The Canal Zone stamps show what the working conditions were like (your imagination can add heat and humidity, poor sanitation, poor housing). The USA took over the canal project in 1904.
William C. Gorgas (1854–1920) was a US Army physician best known for his work in abating the transmission of yellow fever and malaria by controlling mosquitoes. The measures he put into practice as the head of the Panama Canal Zone Sanitation Commission saved thousands of lives and contributed to the success of the Canal's construction. The now closed Gorgas laboratory in Panama.
The Canal Zone featured William Gorgas on an earlier stamp, 1928. It was part of the first set of Zone stamps that weren't just overprints. The Canal Zone post office was established in 1904 when the US took over construction of the canal and lasted till 1978 when the Zone became part of Panama. A hospital in Panama was re-named after Gorgas.
Another name, perhaps the most famous in the fight against yellow fever, is that of the US military doctor Walter Reed (1851-1902). He was able to definitively confirm the work of Finlay, connecting mosquitoes to the spread of the disease. He carried out a series of tests with volunteers, some of whom died. On the basis of his results Gorgas was able to make the Canal Zone safe for constructing the canal.
"Yellow fever virus is estimated to cause 200,000 cases of disease and 30,000 deaths each year, with 90% occurring in Africa." CDC homepage. The vaccine effective against the virus can reduce illness and death if widely administered.
Max Theiler (1899 in South Africa,-1972) developed the vaccine protecting against yellow fever while he was working at the Rockefeller Institute in New York in the late 1930s. In 1951 he received the Nobel Prize for his work.
Another fever caused by a virus carried by the Aedes mosquito is dengue fever. This virus is a relative of the yellow fever virus: both are flaviviruses (Latin flavus = yellow) that do not have a corona. Dengue is often a leading cause of illness in areas with risk, primarily tropical/subtropical areas in which Aedes can thrive.