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Past as Prologue: Yellow Fever & COVID-19

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Lunchtime Learning: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

The transportation of slaves from west Africa by European ships to the Americas spread in its wake deadly terrorizing epidemics of Yellow Fever whose viral cause and transmission by mosquito were unknown. Victims were recent immigrants lacking immunity, living in crowded unsanitary conditions. Medical treatment was ineffective and often harmful. Beneficial supportive therapy and good nursing were not available for the poor. The only effective public health measure was flight, and those who could did so. The only preventative was quarantine, a measure opposed by business, some medical and political interests. This past pandemic may offer prologue for today’s.

Free virtual event: Register Now

Presented by Ira Spar, MD

Ira Spar, MD, is an Orthopedic Surgery Specialist in Plantsville, CT. He earned his medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. He is the immediate past-president of the Hartford Medical Society, a board member of the Society of Civil War Surgeons, a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. He served as a U.S. Army battalion surgeon in the Vietnam War and lives in Farmington, Connecticut.

Dr. Spar is the author of two books, New Haven’s Civil War Hospital: A history of Knight U.S. General Hospital, 1862-1865 and Civil War Hospital Newspapers: Histories and Excerpts of Nine Union Publications published by McFarland Inc. Publishing Company and are listed on

He is currently working on a new book about Connecticut’s War Governor, William A. Buckingham.


December 2, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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