Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 | Outbreak | 1

Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 | Outbreak | 1

In the hot and humid summer of 1793, a deadly epidemic struck Philadelphia, then the capital of the United States. Thousands suffered high fevers, yellow skin, and bloody vomit. Many died within days.

At first, the cause of the illnesses was a mystery. Then the city’s leading physician, Dr. Benjamin Rush, identified it as yellow fever, one of the era’s deadliest diseases. Panic soon spread through Philadelphia. Schools, stores, and churches shut their doors, as the epidemic began to threaten the stability of the young nation.

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