CARLOS JUAN FINLAY - FOUNDER OF VECTOR OF YELLOW FEVER
Google Celebrates Carlos Juan Finlay's 180th Birth Anniversary:
The Google doodle on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 pays tribute to Cuban physician and scientist Carlos Juan Finlay on his 180th birth anniversary. This honor is given to him today because; he was the one who developed the theory that yellow fever was spread by mosquitoes.
Born in the year 1833 in Puerto Principe (presently the Cuban city of Camaguey), he was of French and Scottish descent. He did his education at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He finished his studies in Havana and Paris. After completing his graduation he opened his own medical practice in Cuba.
In the year 1879 he was appointed by the Cuban government to work with a North American commission to study the causes of yellow fever. After two years he was sent as the Cuban delegate to the fifth International Sanitary Conference in Washington DC. At the conference, he recommended the study of yellow fever vectors and later stated that the carrier was the mosquito Culex fasciatus, presently known as Aedes aegypti.
When a US army’s Yellow Fever Board arrived in Cuba in 1900, he sought to actuate it of his mosquito vector theory. With this hypothesis and extensive proofing, it was confirmed by the board’s head, Walter Reed (US army doctor) that the mosquito was the main vector for the spread of Yellow fever. This paved the way for the eradication of yellow fever and saving generations of lives throughout South America, the Caribbean, Africa and the southern parts of US.
As General Leonard Wood, a physician and military governor of Cuba put it: "The confirmation of Dr Finlay's doctrine is the greatest step forward made in medical science since Jenner's discovery of the vaccination." Finlay died in August 1915 at the age of 81 from a seizure induced stroke, at his home in Havana, Cuba.
It has Carlos Juan Finlay’s face in the midst of brackish water, leaves with mosquitoes breeding on them. The doodle is a real credit to the man’s hard work and hypothesis which still continues to save lives even after 100 years after his death.