Juan Manuel Blanes, An Episode of Yellow Fever in Buenos Aires, 1871⁠

There were outbreaks of Yellow Fever in Buenos Aires in the mid-1800s, but the worst of them was in 1871 when a particularly bad episode wiped out thousands of people and many more fled the city, reducing its number to a third. Overcrowding, poor sanitary conditions, insufficient drinking water, and pollution of ground water by human waste all contributed to the problem but polluted waterways from salted meat factories allowed for the abundance of mosquitoes responsible for transmitting the disease that hot summer.⁠⠀
Blanes memorialized the outbreak with this painting of two doctors from the People’s Commission, Roque Pérez and Manuel Argerich, who died from Yellow Fever in the course of their work that year. The doctors enter a room to find a dead mother on the floor as her baby searches for her breast. The father lies dead on the bed at right.⁠

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