The panic of 1905 took the Panama Canal project to the brink of failure. Although more people died of malaria, pneumonia, and dysentery than of yellow fever, it was the sudden onset and violence of “Yellow Jack” that sent three quarters of American workers on the next ship home.
Dr. Gorgas worked with Dr. Walter Reed in Cuba, knew of the work done with mosquitoes. He was not convinced, but insisted that “it was our duty to rid the city of that insect and see if yellow fever disappeared.”
“If there is any one man whose work is above criticism, it is Col. W. C. Gorgas.”
The convergence of the Spanish-American War, mosquitoes, and Dr. William Gorgas in Cuba could be credited with American success in the Panama Canal.