Reed, Walter

Reed, Walter

biographical name


Walter Reed—Bettmann Archive

(born Sept. 13, 1851, Belroi, Va., U.S.—died Nov. 22, 1902, Washington, D.C.) U.S. pathologist and bacteriologist. He received a medical degree at age 18 from the University of Virginia and entered the Army Medical Corps in 1875. He investigated the spread of typhoid fever in military camps during the Spanish-American War and was later curator of the Army Medical Museum in Washington, D.C. Yellow fever was believed to be spread by bedding and other articles, but Carlos Finlay had theorized in 1886 that it was carried by insects, and Reed's team ruled out a bacterium suspected as the cause and found patterns of spread that supported the insect theory. Controlled experiments proved transmission by mosquito bite, and in 1901 efforts to combat an outbreak in Havana succeeded within 90 days.

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