Изображения страниц

When the warm season returned a few cases occurred, but by September, 1901, the last case of yellow fever originated in Habana, since which time the city has been entirely exempt from the terrible disease that had there kept stronghold for a hundred and fifty years. Cases are now admitted into Habana from Mexican ports, but are treated under screens with perfect impunity in the ordinary city hospitals. The crusade against the insects also caused a very large decrease in malarial fevers.

The destruction of the most fatal epidemic disease of the Western Hemisphere in its favorite home city is but the beginning of the benefit to mankind that may be expected to follow the work of Reed and his associates. There can be no manner of doubt should Mexico, Brazil, and the Central American Republics, where the disease still exists, follow strictly the example set by Habana that yellow fever will become extinct and the United States forever freed from the scourge that has in the past slain thousands of our citizens and caused the loss of untold treasure.

More recent investigations into the cause and spread of yellow fever have only succeeded in verifying the work of Reed and his commission in every particular and in adding very little to our knowledge of the disease.

Later researches by Guiteras in Habana, by the Public Health and Marine-Hospital Service in Veracruz, and lastly by a delegation from the Pasteur Institute of Paris in Rio de Janeiro all confirm in the most convincing manner both the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the conclusions of the American commission. It has been well said that Reed's experiments “ will always remain as models in the annals of scientific research, both for the exactness with which they were adapted to the points to be proved and the precautions taken that no experiment should be vitiated by failure to exclude all possible sources of error."

Appreciation of Reed's work was instant in the scientific world. Honorary degrees from Harvard University and the University of Michigan were conferred upon him, learned societies and distinguished men delighted to honor him, and after his death Congress voted a special pension to his widow.

To the United States the value of his services can not be estimated. Ninety times has yellow fever invaded the country, carrying death and destruction, leaving poverty and grief.

New Orleans, Memphis, Charleston, Galveston, Portsmouth, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, and many smaller towns have been swept by the disease.

The epidemie of 1853 cost New Orleans 8,000 lives; that of 1793 wiped out 10 per cent of Philadelphia's population.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

The financial loss to the United States in the one epidemic of 1878 was estimated as amounting to $15,333,000; but suffering, panic, fear, and the tears of widows and orphans can never be estimated. Now, however, if yellow fever should again cross our southern border there need be no disturbance of commerce or loss of property in the slightest degree comparable with that which epidemics in the past have caused.

The death vi Major Reed took place November 23, 1902, in Washington, from appendicitis. It is gratifying to think that, although his country and the scientific world were deprived of one from whose future services more benefit to humanity might reasonably be expected, nevertheless he was privileged before his life's close to know that his discovery had been tested and that a great city was freed from her ancient foe, to know that his conscientious work had contributed immeasureably toward the future prospects of an infant Republic, and even more to the welfare of his own beloved country, whose flag he had served so faithfully.

In the national capital and in the great cities of the United States there are stately monuments to the country's great ones. Statues of warriors, statesmen, and patriots stand as silent witnesses of a people's gratitude. Is there not room for the effigy of Walter Reed, who so clearly pointed out to his fellowman the way to conquer America's worst plague?

[graphic][merged small]


Professor of anatomy in the University of Würzburg.

By WILLIAM STIRLING, Professor of physiology and histology, and dean of merlical school, Unirersity of

Manchester, England.

The death of Professor Kölliker was announced in the British Medical Journal of November 11. The venerable scientist died on November 3, of pneumonia, after an illness of thirty-six hours.

The name of Kölliker has been familiar to all histologists and anatomists for nearly half a century, for there is scarcely any department of histology to which he did not contribute largely by his original work. The whole animal kingdom was laid under contribution, and his contributions dealt both with the structures as they appear in adults and with tissues and organs in their development.

Born at Zurich in 1817, just four years after the birth of Claude Bernard, Kölliker began his studies in the university of his native town in 1836. In 1839 he proceeded to Bonn, and later in the same year to Berlin, where he became a pupil of Johannes Müller, who exercised a profound influence on the young and ardent student. Müller's wide survey of physiology led Kölliker to take the same broad view of histology. Ile took the degree of doctor of philosophy at Zurich in 1811, and because that university insisted on a viva voce examination when he presented a dissertation for a medical degree, he elected to take his degree in Heidelberg in 1842, presenting on the occasion a thesis on the development of Chironomus and Donacia.

Schleiden, of Jena, published his work on vegetable cells in 1838, and Schwann his cell theory in 1839. In the memoir entitled “ Microscopical researches into the accordance in the structure and growth of animals and plants," the cell theory was formulated. Kölliker was thus fortunate in finding a field of research which he cultivated with such marvelous success that up to 1899, when he published Erinnerungen aus meinen Leben, when he was over 80 years of age, the total number of his papers is given as 245, most of them on histological

a Reprinted by permission from the British Medical Journal, London, No. 2342, November 18, 1905.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »