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November 22, 1985

Conquerors of Yellow Fever

Author Affiliations

Wyeth Laboratories Philadelphia

JAMA. 1985;254(20):2894-2895. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360200044021

To the Editor.—  I read with interest the description of the painting that appeared on your May 3, 1985, cover entitled "Conquerors of Yellow Fever."1As is well known, and as is said by Ben Smith, the transmission of yellow fever by the Aedes aegypti mosquito was proposed by the Cuban physician Carlos Finlay (a graduate of Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia) several years before the commission headed by Walter Reed proved him right.My interest in this historical process stems from the fact that, when the Yellow Fever Commission was undertaking its experiments to prove Dr Finlay correct, they were unfamiliar with the disease and unable to diagnose the illness correctly. Because of this, Dr Reed and his group commissioned two Cuban physicians to serve as "diagnosticians" of the disease. These two doctors were Dr Eduardo Angles and my grandfather, Dr Nicasio Silverio.