The Panama Puzzle

The name's Reed.

Walter Reed: Major, US Army Medical Corps.

I need your help. It's June 25th, 1900, and I've just been posted to Cuba after the end of the Spanish-American war. We lost more men to disease than bullets in that campaign. One disease in particular. In Panama, our boys have started digging a canal so that our warships can get from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Some canal! We've got big trouble - hundreds of our men have died so far from that damn disease. We call it "yellow jack" (yellow fever). They get a high fever and jaundice. Up to half of those who show symptoms die. It's my responsibility to find out what's causing it and put a stop to it. Like I said, I need your help.

The surgeon general has put three assistant surgeons under my command: James Carroll, Jesse W. Lazear and Aristides Agaramonte. We've got a few ideas so far about what could be causing the disease:

What do you think?

Click on one of the choices above.

© AJC 1995