1887

Chapter 6 : Typhus, A Fever Plague

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Abstract:

Those attending a New York Philharmonic concert and listening to the cannons, the ringing of church bells, and the melody of “La Marseillaise” in Tchaikovsky’s probably knew that it was composed in 1880 to mark the opening of the Moscow Exhibition of 1882 and the consecration of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, built to give thanks for the Russian victory over Napoleon in 1812. They may have also known from the program notes that the first performance was given on August 20, 1882, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Russia’s victory over Napoleon and that it was a great success. Although even today audiences continue to be impressed by the power of the work, Tchaikovsky felt little enthusiasm for it, and had it not been for a very lucrative commission, he probably would never have composed the overture. Everyone at the performance of the Philharmonic, conducted by Leonard Bernstein, was aware that the defeat of Napoleon, set to music, dealt with the impact of war on the people, the bravery of the Russian soldiers, and the role of the Russian winter, and that it celebrated the glory of the people of Russia. Few in the audience, however, would have known that the Russians had another ally—typhus fever—and that it was this disease that contributed in a significant way to Napoleon’s downfall (Fig. 6.1).

Citation: Sherman I. 2017. Typhus, A Fever Plague, p 113-131. In The Power of Plagues, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781683670018.ch6
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Figures

Image of Figure 6.1
Figure 6.1

Napoleon’s troops in Vilna after the Russian Campaign in 1812. Engraving by Eugene Le Roux after A. Raffet. Courtesy Wellcome Library, London, CC-BY 4.0.

Citation: Sherman I. 2017. Typhus, A Fever Plague, p 113-131. In The Power of Plagues, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781683670018.ch6
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Image of Figure 6.2
Figure 6.2

Typhus rash. Courtesy medbullets.com.

Citation: Sherman I. 2017. Typhus, A Fever Plague, p 113-131. In The Power of Plagues, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781683670018.ch6
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Image of Figure 6.3
Figure 6.3

(body louse). Courtesy CDC/Dr. Dennis Juranek, 1979.

Citation: Sherman I. 2017. Typhus, A Fever Plague, p 113-131. In The Power of Plagues, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781683670018.ch6
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Image of Figure 6.5
Figure 6.5

as seen with transmission electron microscope, from the Pathogen Profile Dictionary, www.ppdictionary.com, with permission © 2010,

Citation: Sherman I. 2017. Typhus, A Fever Plague, p 113-131. In The Power of Plagues, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781683670018.ch6
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Image of Figure 6.4
Figure 6.4

An unhatched nit containing a developing head louse. Courtesy CDC/Dr. Dennis Juranek, 1979.

Citation: Sherman I. 2017. Typhus, A Fever Plague, p 113-131. In The Power of Plagues, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781683670018.ch6
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Image of Figure 6.6
Figure 6.6

by Gerhard ter Bosch (1617-1681) Mauritshuis, The Hague, Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Citation: Sherman I. 2017. Typhus, A Fever Plague, p 113-131. In The Power of Plagues, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781683670018.ch6
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References

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