The Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793, the largest yellow fever epidemic in American history, killed as many as 5,000 people in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – roughly 10% of the population. Ffirth joined the University of Pennsylvania a few years later and studied the disease that had so significantly impacted the area. He set out to prove that it was not a contagious disease, and was so sure of his theory that he began performing experiments on himself.
Ffirth decided to bring himself into direct contact with bodily fluids from those that had become infected. He started to make incisions on his arms and smeared vomit into the cuts, then proceeded to pour it onto his eyeballs. He continued to try to infect himself using infected vomit by frying it and inhaling the fumes, and, when he did not become ill, drank it undiluted. Endeavoring to prove that other bodily fluids yielded the same results, Ffirth progressed on from vomit, and would go on to smear his body with blood, saliva, and urine. He still managed to avoid contracting the disease and saw this as proof for his hypothesis. However, it was later shown that the samples Ffirth had used for his experiments came from late-stage patients who were no longer contagious.
Ffirth published his findings in his 1804 thesis A Treatise on Malignant Fever; with an Attempt to Prove its Non-contagious Non-Malignant Nature.
Read more about this topic: Stubbins Ffirth
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Famous quotes containing the word works:
“We thus worked our way up this river, gradually adjusting our thoughts to novelties, beholding from its placid bosom a new nature and new works of men, and, as it were with increasing confidence, finding nature still habitable, genial, and propitious to us; not following any beaten path, but the windings of the river, as ever the nearest way for us. Fortunately, we had no business in this country.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“Audible prayer can never do the works of spiritual understanding, which regenerates; but silent prayer, watchfulness, and devout obedience enable us to follow Jesus example. Long prayers, superstition, and creeds clip the strong pinions of love, and clothe religion in human forms. Whatever materializes worship hinders mans spiritual growth and keeps him from demonstrating his power over error.”
—Mary Baker Eddy (18211910)
“And when discipline is concerned, the parent who has to make it to the end of an eighteen-hour daywho works at a job and then takes on a second shift with the kids every nightis much more likely to adopt the survivors motto: If it works, Ill use it. From this perspective, dads who are even slightly less involved and emphasize firm limits or character- building might as well be talking a foreign language. They just dont get it.”
—Ron Taffel (20th century)