'Plague and Fire' a tale of public health, imperialism, race relations, catastrophe

EUGENE, Ore.--A new book by University of Oregon historian James Mohr is the first in-depth account of the epic story behind the burning of Honolulu's Chinatown during the bubonic plague epidemic of 1900.

"Plague and Fire: Battling Black Death and the 1900 Burning of Honolulu's Chinatown" (Oxford University Press, 2004) represents the culmination of a project that was sparked about 20 years ago when Mohr spotted a simple sign while walking in Honolulu's modern Chinatown.

"The sign said that the original buildings in the area had all been burned "on order of the Board of Health," Mohr recalled, "and I wondered how such a thing could have happened."

As the story opens, the United States had just annexed the Hawaiian Islands but had not yet established a territorial government there. An epidemic of the legendary Black Death, which had killed millions of people in China and India during the late 1890s, arrived in Honolulu in December 1899. The interim white minority government quickly ceded absolute emergency powers to the local Board of Health, hoping to save the islands from decimation.

"I've always been interested in situations where doctors are prominently involved in the making of public policy," said Mohr, who is an authority on medical jurisprudence. "Here was a case in which three physicians were essentially the absolute dictators of America's newest territorial possession. And the fact that the U.S. didn't know quite what to do with its new possession was one of the complicating factors in the medical politics of the whole thing."

As the crisis unfolded, the public health community debated the virtues of bacteriology. But the vector of the epidemic--fleas--had not yet been demonstrated, and no one knew much about the behavior of Yersinia pestis, the bacteria that causes bubonic plague.

"As a result," Mohr explained, "the physicians on the Board of Health could identify the enemy bacteria but they

Contact: Melody Ward Leslie
University of Oregon

Page: 1 2

Related medicine news :

1. Advertising by academic medical centers may risk eroding public trust, says study
2. Mental health service costs offset by savings in other public sectors
3. Study examines lessons learned at Africas first public antiretroviral treatment clinic
4. How links with tobacco industry may have influenced the publication of research on second-hand smoke
5. Disease testing for immigrants: Discrimination disguised as public health policy
6. Study shows strengths, gaps in quality of care for kids in Californias public mental health clinics
7. Researchers to put changing public services under the microscope
8. Alliance for Taxpayer Access asks NIH Who really owns publicly-funded medical research?
9. National Academies Advisory: Jan. 11 public briefing on perchlorate in drinking water
10. Book celebrates centenary of citys advances in public health
11. Who really owns publicly-funded medical research?

Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/20/2019)... ... 2019 , ... Access Healthcare, one of the largest providers ... been appointed as Senior Vice President of Client Services. Angel brings more than ... nurturing high performing teams, and driving revenue growth for healthcare companies. , In ...
(Date:6/19/2019)... ... June 19, 2019 , ... ... academia, faith-based organizations, private institutions, media, and government joined Global Health Council ... commitments to improve universal access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in ...
(Date:6/19/2019)... ... June 19, 2019 , ... A legal-medical partnership , on behalf of ... class action lawsuits in 34 of the 48 states reporting hospital births ... an array of pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors and retailers, all of whom, according to the ...
(Date:6/19/2019)... LOS ANGELES (PRWEB) , ... June 19, 2019 , ... ... 35th European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) Annual Meeting in ... in IVF has been pre-selected for consideration for both the Basic Science Award for ...
(Date:6/18/2019)... ... June 18, 2019 , ... NeoTract, a wholly ... field of urology, today announced that Aaron Berger, MD, Associated Urological Specialists, LLC ... designation recognizes that Dr. Aaron Berger has achieved a high level of training ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/18/2019)... ... 18, 2019 , ... An unexpected and overwhelming public outcry at the May ... its directors to change their minds about supporting SB 276 , the bill ... their patients from vaccine injuries. After hearing testimony from hundreds of parents, as well ...
(Date:6/18/2019)... ... June 18, 2019 , ... The dentists of ... in the Bridgeville, PA area. Understanding the crippling effects patients experience when it ... and Tyler Porco offer same-day oral sedation, nitrous oxide, and IV sedation at ...
(Date:6/16/2019)... ... June 14, 2019 , ... AVIE! MedSpa and Laser Center ... most advanced microneedling and radiofrequency treatment for achieving dramatic improvements to the texture and ... , Microneedling stimulates the skin with tiny needles, spurring vibrant new collagen growth ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
Cached News: