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March 4, 1983

Deaths Associated With Yellow Fever Experiments-Reply

Author Affiliations

USA Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Washington, DC

JAMA. 1983;249(9):1151. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330330032022

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In Reply.—  Dr Olson quotes from our article that "none of these volunteers died." The statement is correct.The experiments carried out on Walter Reed's protocol commenced Dec 5, 1900. On Jan 31, 1901, when Reed wrote of his melancholia to Surgeon General Sternberg, his last experimental subject had been infected. Clara Maass, a civilian nurse, had not been one of the volunteers. She did volunteer for another, later, experiment designed and carried out in Cuba by Juan Guiteras, a Cuban physician, and MAJ William C. Gorgas, MC, USA. The experiment was intended to demonstrate that a mosquito, having bitten a patient with mild yellow fever, transmits a mild form of the disease. The Surgeon General in Washington referred the protocol of this experiment for comment to Walter Reed, long since out of Cuba, and Reed wrote to his friend Gorgas, "I had to advise against further experimentation on human