Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media
by Irvine Loudon, 236 pp, with illus, $65, ISBN 0-19-820499-X, New York, NY, Oxford University Press, 2000.
The screenplay of And the Band Played On, the late Randy Shilts' account of the early years of HIV in the United States, introduced its story with a terrifying brief segment about a 1970s Ebola virus outbreak in Africa. For many viewers it was the wake-up call to the mysteries and persistence of disease, despite the advances of recent decades that reduced or virtually eliminated scourges of earlier eras. Similarly, well into Irvine Loudon's satisfying new history of childbed, or puerperal, fever, readers are jolted by his account of that disease's brief but sudden and terrifying reappearance in Boston's 1965 "Rosebush-scratch epidemic" and the puzzling scientific questions left in its wake.
Childbed FeverThe Tragedy of Childbed Fever. JAMA. 2001;285(16):2133-2134. doi:10.1001/jama.285.16.2133