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2005

Medicine and Health Sciences

Health Services Research Dissertations

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The Great Pestilence: Yellow Fever In Portsmouth, Virginia, 1855, Burden Susan Lundgren Apr 2005

The Great Pestilence: Yellow Fever In Portsmouth, Virginia, 1855, Burden Susan Lundgren

Health Services Research Dissertations

In 1855, the town of Portsmouth, Virginia was devastated by an epidemic of yellow fever. Most citizens fled. Of those who remained, most became infected and a thousand died. The municipal government collapsed. In their place, a small organization known as the Portsmouth Relief Association assumed responsibility for ensuring the survival of the town. This organization managed the care of the sick, the burial of the dead, and the care of orphans. It was the sole agent receiving and allocating the funds and resources that poured into the community. Scarce food, drugs and other supplies were available only through the ...