Abstract

Yellow fever immunities are generally acquired, but individuals whose roots lie in areas of endemic yellow fever may also have been equipped with some sort of innate resistance as indicated by historical data from seventeenth-century Cuba, and Antigua and the United States during the nineteenth-century. Those that seem to have possessed this ability were of African descent but born in the New World where, for a variety of reasons, they would not have had any more opportunity than white counterparts to acquire immunity to yellow fever. Nonetheless, they fared much better with the disease. Professor Watts professes to spy racism in this, as yet, inexplicable differential resistance to yellow fever. Although a student of epidemics, he does not seem to understand that different peoples have historically reacted differently to disease exposure because of the physical environments that forged them.

Additional Information

ISSN
1527-1897
Print ISSN
0022-4529
Pages
pp. 969-974
Launched on MUSE
2001-06-01
Open Access
No
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