Latin America 20th Century
Historical events in Latin America in the 20th century, between 1900 to 1999
The loss of many lives to yellow fever during the 1898 Spanish American War prompted an investigation into how people caught the disease. Major Walter Reed is credited with proving, through a series of experiments with volunteers, that mosquitoes, not contaminated objects, are to blame.
Mosquito abatement programs pioneered by William Gorgas in Cuba and Panama led to immediate relief from yellow fever. Later, his discoveries played a major role in WWII, and still help with control of the disease today. We have a vaccine, developed by Max Theiler, but there is still no cure and outbreaks occur.