1887

Chapter 1 : The Nature of Plagues

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The Nature of Plagues, Page 1 of 2

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Abstract:

Disease can be a personal affair. Peter Turner, a World War II veteran, was a commander of the Pennsylvania Division of the American Legion. In the summer of 1976, Turner, a tall, well-built 65-year-old, decked out in full military regalia, attended the American Legion convention in Philadelphia. As a commander, Turner stayed at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel, headquarters for the meeting. Two days after the convention Turner fell ill with a high fever, chills, headache, and muscle aches and pains. He dismissed the symptoms as nothing more serious than a “summer cold.” His diagnosis proved to be wrong. A few days later he had a dry cough, chest pains, shortness of breath, vomiting, and diarrhea. Within a week his lungs filled with fluid and pus, and he experienced confusion, disorientation, hallucinations, and loss of memory. Of 221 fellow Legionnaires who became ill, Commander Turner and 33 others died from pneumonia. The size and severity of the outbreak, called Legionnaires’ disease, quickly gained public attention, and federal, state, and local health authorities launched an extensive investigation to determine the cause of this “new” disease. There was widespread fear that Legionnaires’ disease was an early warning of an epidemic. Though no person-to-person spread could be documented, few people attended the funerals or visited with the families of the deceased veterans.

Citation: Sherman I. 2017. The Nature of Plagues, p 1-19. In The Power of Plagues, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781683670018.ch1
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Figures

Image of Figure 1.1
Figure 1.1

. Kathe Kollwitz etching. 1903. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Citation: Sherman I. 2017. The Nature of Plagues, p 1-19. In The Power of Plagues, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781683670018.ch1
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Image of Figure 1.2
Figure 1.2

by Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665). The painting probably represents bubonic plague since rats are shown on the plinth

Citation: Sherman I. 2017. The Nature of Plagues, p 1-19. In The Power of Plagues, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781683670018.ch1
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References

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