Parrot Bread By Jill Lepore Analysis

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Tara Brown Mindy Carpenter English 101 10 September 2012 The Parrot Pandemic In the early 1930’s many families owned parrots. Parrots were often given as gifts, and easy to maintain. The essay “It’s Spreading”, written by Jill Lepore, speaks about as American epidemic that soon strengthened the nation. The outbreak was caused by infected parrots imported from South American and Europe. It soon became known as “Psittacosis”. The first sign of illness from these tropical birds were “puffy eyes, a drooping head, and feathers as ruffled as if it had flown through a squall” (Lepore 692). A week after being exposed to this infectious bird, people became dangerously ill. The symptoms of both were pneumonia and typhoid. On January 6, 1930 it…show more content…
Since this was new in the United States most of the media gave inaccurate information. This left Americans confused and worried. Why? Different information was being printed from the post in different states, and no one knew which accurate was. The newspapers were lettering about deaths by parrots when it really was pneumonia. There had been no autopsy done on the bodies to determine if parrot fever was the culprit. The media blew the situation up and got America in this horrific panic. Then the newspapers make a mockery out of this plague. In January of 1930, the “Times” ran a story about Americans suffering from “mass suggestion” (698). The media tried to encourage Americans that the Parrot Fever was a hoax. It was stated that it was just a bad “heebie-jeebies” (698). The 1930’s was a very harsh time for the United States. To escape the harsh realities the press turned this “man killing disease” into a joke. On January 20th 1930, “The New Yorkers Talk of the Town” included a piece of by White, a journalist, calling Parrot Fever merely “the latest and most amusing examples of national hypochondria” (699). In reality this was not true in an…show more content…
He took blood from a recovered patient and injected in Armstrong’s veins. This was commonly done on sick individuals. This created a serum that was going to cure America. Armstrong soon recovered and earned a place in De Kruif’s, a publisher, 1932 sequel to “Microbe Hunters”, a book titled “Men Against Death”. After the research was no more need of use, McCoy evacuated the Hygienic Laboratory and began to kill the experiment animals. This would contain and prevent another disastrous outbreak. A few months later when everything is contained congress grants the Hygienic Laboratory with a new name, The National Institute of Health. This epidemic brought disease and catastrophe. Parrot Fever spread throughout America, and eventually brought death to one of five people that were infected.” There were a total of a hundred and sixty-nine cases of psittacosis nationwide. This disease took thirty-three lives and left everyone devastated. This epidemic made it clear that diseases can kill anyone and

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