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Archive for the ‘VIPatients’ Category

COVID-19 and Fame

Ask anybody on the planet, “What do Tom Hanks, Boris Johnson, and Prince Charles have in common?” and they will instantly shout – “Corona.”

Ask these same people, “Who were the three Prime Ministers that died of Coronavirus last month?” Few will respond, “Well…there was Nur Hassan Husein from Somalia, Mahmoud Jabril from Libya and Joachim Yhombi-Opango from Congo – who died (respectively) in London, Cairo, and Paris.”

As of May 4, no fewer than eleven movie stars had contracted COVID-19, nine with fatal results. Other victims include retired Commanders of the Turkish and Polish Armies, a well-known rapper, and a mafia hitman. Almost half of the famous COVID-19 victims have been athletes, not surprisingly from countries that report unusually high rates of infection (see list below).

History is largely written in the lives of famous disease victims. The “black death” of 1348 claimed only eleven well-known people, including the King of Spain, the Royal Consorts of England and France, four famous painters, and two Archbishops of Canterbury. In contrast, 62 famous people died during the “Spanish Influenza” pandemic, accounting for 39% of known causes of death in this population from 1918 to 1920!

COVID-19 in Athletes

  – fatal
  – soccer
– American football
– basketball
– cricket

Argentina

Ezequiel Garay 

Brazil

 Jonathas de Jesus

Denmark

 Thomas Kahlenberg

 Peter Madsen

England

 Callum Hudson-Odoi

 Norman Hunter 

 John Rowlands 

France

 Eliaquim Mangala

 Arnold Sowinski 

Gambia

 Omar Colley

Germany

 Jannes Horn

 Timo Hubers

 Luca Kilian

 Fabian Nurnberger

 Stefan Thesker

Italy

 Zaccaria Cometti 

 Fabio Depaoli

 Innocezo Donina

 Alessandro Favelli

 Luciano Federici 

 Manolo Gabbiadini

 Antonino La Gumina

 Daniele Rugani

 King Udoh

Netherlands

 Henk Overgoor

Norway

 Morten Thorsby

Pakistan

 Zafar Sarfraz   

Poland

 Bartosz Bereszynski

Serbia

 Dusan Vlahovic

Somalia

 Mohammed Farah

South Korea

 Hyun-jun Suk

Spain

 Baldiri Alavedra

 Mikel Arteta

 Goyo Benito

 Jose Luis Capon

 Jose Luis Gaya

 Benito Joanet

 Miguel Jones

Sweden

 Albin Ekdal

United States

 Tom Dempsey

 Rudy Gobert

 Orlando McDaniel

 Donoval Mitchell

 Christian Wood

Birds, Pigs and Silent VIP’s

It has become a tragic fact that every year the flu season brings an immense burden on health care services and now has dozens of subtypes cataloged, from ‘swine flu’ to ‘bird flu’ to ‘Asian flu’ and beyond. Typically, between late Fall and early Spring, over the last ten years, the United States alone has suffered hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and tens of thousands of deaths across all ages [1]. But shortly after the turn of the century the ‘Spanish Flu’ pandemic of 1918 to 1920 was different in the extreme, and like every disease or virus did not discriminate on age, gender, race, even species, or, indeed, fame.

This year makes the centennial anniversary of the pandemics end so along with the estimated 50 million deaths let us remember how we are all equal in the face of such viruses.

Rose Cleveland – sister of President Grover Cleveland, who acted as ‘first lady’ to her bachelor brother – was one of approximately 150 famous people that perished in the ‘Spanish flu’ pandemic. Perhaps the best-known victims at the time were Francisco Rodrigues Alves (Brazilian President-Elect) and Louis Botha (President of South Africa), but no less than ten shining stars of the silent movie era are known to have also died during the deadly outbreak.

True Boardman, who appeared in 137 films in just an 8-year career and his son (also named True Boardman) went on to co-star in films with Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford.

William Courtleigh, Jr. who passed at only 26 years of age, after co-starring with Lillian Lorraine and Ann Pennington.

Dark Cloud (Elijah Tahamont), a Canadian Indian and chief of the Abenaki. During his 8 year career, he got to work with Francis Ford and Mary Pickford, appearing in 34 movies.

Myrtle Gonzalez, who is regarded as Hollywood’s first Latin and Hispanic star. She starred in some 78 movies, alongside the likes of William Desmond Taylor and Jean Hersholt.

Shelly Hull, brother of actor Henry Hull who was only just breaking into motion pictures following his success on Broadway, where he starred in plays such as The Amazons, The Cinderella Man and The Land of Promise.

Joseph Kaufman, both an actor and director with over 30 credits in each discipline. He married fellow silent film star Ethel Clayton who went on to star in as many as 180 movies.

Vera Kholodnaya, was the first Russian star of Silent Movies. Unfortunately, most of her films have been lost. Her first film was Anna Karenina and she went on to star in A Life for a Life, The Last Tango and some reported 50 other films. She also has a life-size bronze statue of herself in Odesa, Ukraine.

Julian L’Estrange, husband of Constance Collier, who starred in stage and movie productions on both sides of the Atlantic.

Harold A. Lockwood, was an actor, director, and producer who starred alongside May Allison no less than 23 films and also shared the screen with Mary Pickford (a repeating theme!).

Wayland Trask, Jr., a member of Mack Sennett’s company of actors, and a star of no less than 45 comedies.

Even prior to the recent outbreak, influenza has long contributed to thousands upon thousands of deaths across the globe, naturally including a number of famous names: Juan Peron (Argentina), Francesco Nitti and Paolo Boselli (Italy); performers Angela Baddeley, Lillie Langtree, Tallulah Bankhead, Jean Harlow, and Trevor Howard; baseball legends Dick Bertell and Hack Wilson; movie directors Jules Dassin and Luchino Visconti; and philosopher Bertrand Russell. In fact, three additional Silent Movie stars managed to join the famous-flu-deaths list – 2 shortly after the Spanish flu with Edward J. Connelly (1928) and Henry B. Walthall (1936); and the other as recent as 2018, with the passing of Lassie Lou Ahern, who had a career spanning over 50 years, starring in no less than 30 films including many from the ‘Our Gang’ films.

These lists are abstracted from the hobby of our founder and medical advisor, Dr. Steve Berger, who maintains an extensive database at www.VIPatients.com. The site is completely free to use, allowing you to explore and search the medical file of over 20,000 VIPs. Who will you look up?

[1] Figures taken from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/2010-2011.html

Yellow Fever and Fame

Infectious Diseases continually shape human history, often through their impact on leaders in Science, Politics, War, Religion, Industry and Art. The death of a King, President or Pope from plague or malaria can affect us all, and serves as a useful paradigm in the appreciation of these conditions. For many, yellow fever (YF) remains a “rare tropical disease” which (as in the current Angolan outbreak) periodically erupts in the developing world. Few realize that major YF outbreaks were recorded in the United States, Spain, Italy and even England into the early twentieth century. A chronology of outbreaks beyond The Tropics appears below.

A list of notables who died of YF includes Benjamin Latrobe, the architect who designed the United States Capitol Building, and Henry Lehman, the financier who founded Lehman Brothers. Both contracted the disease in New Orleans, respectively in 1820 and 1855. Heads of State who died of YF included Haitian President Alexandre Petion (died 1818) and Thomas Dundas, Governor of Guadeloupe (died 1794). Non-fatal attacks appear in the biographies of American President Zachary Taylor, Texas President Anson Jones and Chilean Supreme Director, Bernardo O’Higgins.

Other victims of YF included Cyrus McCormick, Thomas Nast, Donald Meek, John James Audubon and Alexander Selkirk. McCormick, inventor of the mechanical reaper, acquired the infection in Virginia at the age of 5. Nast, a legendary political cartoonist, was stricken in Ecuador in 1902; and Meek an iconic character actor, was rendered permanently bald after surviving Yellow fever during the Spanish American War. Audubon survived an attack of YF in 1803, after emigrating to Philadelphia from Haiti. That year, outbreaks of the disease were reported in both. Alexander Selkirk, the Scottish castaway who served as inspiration for Robinson Crusoe, died of YF during Navy service in West Africa (1721).   Indeed, military activity often exposes famous people to “exotic” diseases. Thus, British war hero Horatio Nelson suffered a nonfatal attack of YF in Cuba in 1780; and Samuel Nicholas, first Commander of the United States Marines, died during an outbreak in Philadelphia in 1790. A number of former Civil War Generals succumbed to the disease, including Charles Griffin (1867), Cyrus Hamlin (1867), John Bell Hood (1879) and Edward Ord (1883).

To date, over 500 health-care workers have died during the Ebola epidemic in West Africa; and it is no surprise that several notable victims of Yellow fever have been scientists working with the disease itself. Physicians John Conrad Otto, Philip Syng Physick and Benjamin Rush all survived attacks of YF while working in Philadelphia. Medical personnel who died of YF included doctors Jesse Willam Lazear (1900) and James Carroll (1907), and nurse Clara Maass (1901), who succumbed after purposely exposing themselves to the bites of infected mosquitoes in Cuba. Other physicians who died of YF (country – year of death) included Francois Carlo Antommarchi (Cuba – 1838), personal physician to Napoleon Bonaparte; Richard Bayley (New York -1801), the first Chief Health Officer of New York City; and Paul A. Lewis (Brazil – 1929). In 1928, Hideo Noguchi and William Alexander Young both died of Yellow fever while studying the disease in Ghana.

Notable victims of Yellow fever have also included three painters, a chess master, four authors / journalists, and two co-conspirators in the Lincoln assassination. A full listing and additional background data are available on a free website which I maintain at www.VIPatients.com   The site is interactive. Users can explore the medical history of over 22,000 “VIP’s” (and 130 famous animals) ; or generate lists based on disease, profession and year of death. Although specific diagnoses are derived primarily from biographies, which are often speculative or biased, entries are regularly updated as additional information becomes available. The author will value feedback and suggestions.

A Chronology of Yellow Fever Outbreaks Beyond The Tropics [1,2]

1730 – An outbreak (2,200 fatal cases) was reported in Cadiz, Spain (with subsequent outbreaks in 1731, 1736, 1764, 1800, 1802, 1805, 1810, 1813, 1819 and 1821.) 
1793 – An outbreak (4,044 fatal cases) of yellow fever was reported in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1794 – An outbreak (360 fatal cases) was reported in Baltimore, Maryland.
1796 – An outbreak was reported in New Orleans, Louisiana.
1798 – Outbreaks were reported in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (3,506 fatal cases) , New Haven, Connecticut and New York City.
1800 – An outbreak (1,197 fatal cases) was reported in Baltimore, Maryland.
1800 – An outbreak (60,000 fatal cases) was reported in Spain.
1802 – An outbreak was reported in Brest, France.
1803 – Outbreaks (606 fatal cases) were reported in New York City and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1804 – An outbreak (2,000 cases, 650 fatal) of yellow fever was reported in Livorno, Italy.
1804 – Outbreaks were reported in Gibraltar and Alicante, Spain.1808 – An outbreak was reported in Georgia (U.S.).
1819 – An outbreak was reported in Cadiz, Spain.
1820 – An outbreak was reported in Savannah, Georgia.
1821 – An outbreak (20,000 fatal cases = one-sixth of the population) was reported in Barcelona following introduction by a ship from Cuba.
1823 – An outbreak was reported in Lisbon, Portugal.
1828 – An outbreak (5,383 cases, 1,183 fatal) was reported in Gibraltar.
1857 – An outbreak was reported in Oporto and Lisbon, Portugal.
1870 – An outbreak (1,235 fatal cases) in Barcelona was related to a ship arriving from Cuba.
1838 to 1839 – An outbreak was reported in Charleston, South Carolina.
1839 – An outbreak (250 fatal cases – 5% of the population) was reported in Galveston, Texas.
1852 – An outbreak was reported in Charleston, South Carolina.
1852 – An outbreak was reported in Southampton, England.
1855 – An outbreak was reported in Virginia.
1861 – An outbreak (40 cases, 26 fatal) was reported in Saint-Nazaire, France.
1862 – An outbreak was reported in Wilmington, North Carolina.
1863 – An outbreak was reported in Shreveport, Louisiana.
1865 – Outbreaks (27 cases, 17 fatal) were reported in Wales, and in Swansea, England (imported from Cuba).
1867 – An outbreak (1,150 fatal cases) of yellow fever was reported in Galveston, Texas.
1873 – An outbreak was reported in Shreveport, Louisiana.
1873 to 1875 – An outbreak was reported in Pensacola, Florida.
1876 – An outbreak was reported in Savannah, Georgia.
1877 – An outbreak was reported in Port Royal, South Carolina.
1878 to 1879 – Outbreaks of yellow fever were reported in Mississippi , Memphis, Tennessee and New Orleans, Louisiana (4,046 fatal cases).
1882 – An outbreak was reported in Pensacola, Florida.
1887 to 1888 – An outbreak was reported in Florida.
1888 – An outbreak of yellow fever was reported in Mississippi
1905 – Outbreaks were reported in New Orleans, Louisiana (8,399 cases) and Pensacola Florida.
1909 – An outbreak was reported on a ship arriving to Saint Nazaire, France from Martinique – with no secondary spread to the port.

References

  1. Berger SA. Yellow Fever: Global Status, 2016. 152 pates, 124 graphs, 983 references. Gideon e-books, https://www.gideononline.com/ebooks/disease/yellow-fever-global-status/
  2. Berger A. Infectious Diseases of the United States, 2016. 1,305 pages, 489 graphs, 15,433 references. Gideon e-books, https://www.gideononline.com/ebooks/country/infectious-diseases-of-the-united-states/

Update: Posted in ProMED

Very Important Patients – How Diseases Change History

VIPatients.com, a GIDEON labs project, follows the diseases and deaths of all famous people – 21,400 and counting !

In this video, Dr Steve Berger reviews the impact of Infectious Diseases on world history, through the lives and deaths of famous patients.

The Human Cost of Yellow fever in America: A Chronology

The Human Cost of Yellow fever in America: A Chronology [1,2] (primary references available on request).

1793 to 1900 – An estimated 500,000 cases of yellow fever occurred in the United States.
1693 to 1905- An estimated 100,000 to 150,000 died of yellow fever in the United States. These figures included 14,217 deaths in Philadelphia during 1699 to 1803.
1904 to 1914 – The death rate among American personnel involved in constructing the Panama Canal was 15.8 per 1,000.

Chronology:
1668 – Yellow fever was first reported in North America – including 370 fatal cases in New York City
1803 – 606 fatal cases were reported in New York City.
1856 – 538 fatal cases were reported in New York City.
1793 – An outbreak (4,044 fatal cases – 10% of the population) was reported in Philadelphia.
1794 – An outbreak (360 fatal cases) was reported in Baltimore, Maryland.
1798 – Outbreaks were reported in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (3,506 fatal cases) and New York City.
1800 – An outbreak (1,197 fatal cases) was reported in Baltimore, Maryland.
1803 – Outbreaks (606 fatal cases) were reported in New York City and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1838 to 1839 – An outbreak was reported in Charleston, South Carolina.
1839 – An outbreak (250 fatal cases – 5% of the population) was reported in Galvaston, Texas.
1852 – An outbreak was reported in Charleston, South Carolina.
1853 – An outbreak (4,858 fatal cases) was reported in New Orleans.
1855 – An outbreak was reported in Virginia.
1862 – An outbreak was reported in Wilmington, North Carolina.
1867 – An outbreak (1,150 fatal cases – 5% of the population) was reported in Galveston, Texas.
1877 – An outbreak was reported in Port Royal, South Carolina.
1878 – An outbreak (13,000 fatal cases) was reported in the Mississippi Valley. 4,046 fatal cases were reported in New Orleans, Louisiana.
1888 – An outbreak was reported in Mississippi.
1905 – America’s last outbreaks were reported in New Orleans, Louisiana (8,399 cases) and Pensacola, Florida.
1910 – A case of yellow fever was identified in a ship arriving to Hawaii, with secondary infection of a quarantine guard.
1911 – The last indigenous case of yellow fever in the United States was reported.
1924 – An imported case was reported.
1996 – A traveler from Brazil died of yellow fever in Tennessee.
1999 – A fatal case (non-vaccinated American tourist returning from Venezuela) was reported in California.
2002 – An American traveler died of yellow fever in Texas following return from Brazil.

Some famous American Yellow fever victims: [3]
1704 – French explorers Pierre-Charles Le Seuer (first European to explore the Minnesota River valley) and Henri de Tonti (explorer with La sale) died of yellow fever in Alabama.
1790 – Samuel Nicholas, first Commandant of the United States Marines, died of yellow fever in Philadelphia.
1798 – John Fenno, prominent journalist, dies of yellow fever in Philadelphia.
1820- Benjamin Latrobe, designer of the United States Capitol, died of yellow fever in New Orleans, Louisiana.
1844 – John Conrad Otto, noted physician, died of yellow fever in Philadelphia.
1867 – Michael O’Laughlen, a conspirator in the Lincoln assassination, died of Yellow fever in the Florida keys.
1835 – Dr. David Hosack, the doctor who attended Alexander Hamilton, died of shock (possibly yellow fever) in New York City.
1862 – Ormsby Mitchel, astronomer and Civil War general, died of yellow fever in South Carolina.
1863 – Designer of the first Trans-continental Railway (fatal infection, contracted in Panama)
1879 – General John Bell Hood dies of yellow fever in New Orleans, Louisiana.
1888- Richard A. Proctor, a pioneer in Martian astronomy, died of yellow fever in New York.
1900 to 1901 – Dr. Jesse William Lazear and nurse Clara Maass died of yellow fever after allowing themselves to be bitten by infected mosquitoes in Panama.
1902 – Thomas Nast, political cartoonist, died of yellow fever in Ecuador.
1929 – Dr. Paul A. Lewis, a noted yellow fever researcher, died of the disease in Brazil.

Americans who survived yellow fever have included:
Benjamin Rush (physician and signatory to the Declaration of Independence)
Anson Jones (President of The Republic of Texas)
Jack London (author)
Cyrus McCormick (inventor of the mechanical reaper)
Donald Meek (movie actor)
Philip Syng Physick (“the father of American surgery”).
Zachary Taylor (American President), contracted Yellow fever while serving the in Army in New Orleans, Louisiana (ca. 1809)

References:
1. Berger SA. Infectious Diseases of the United States, 2013. 1,119 pages, 470 graphs, 11,030 references. Gideon e-books, www.gideononline.com/ebooks/country/infectious-diseases-of-the-united-states/
2. Berger SA. Yellow Fever: Global Status, 2013. 142 pages, 124 graphs, 678 references. Gideon e-books, www.gideononline.com/ebooks/disease/yellow-fever-global-status/
3. Berger SA. www.VIPatients.com

Note featured on ProMED

AIDS Among Adult-Movie Actors

I currently maintain a Smartphone application which follows the diseases and deaths of all famous persons (VIP’s). [1] Primary sources include biographies, anthologies, nationally-published obituaries and relevant Internet sites. The first VIP death ascribed to AIDS was recorded in 1982. AIDS is listed as the cause of death in 302 (3.06%) of 9,873 VIP’s who died during 1982 to July 2012. These figures include 33 of 1,511 movie actors (2.18%) and 71 of 171 adult-film actors (41.5%). Although publication bias and other sampling errors could contribute to these differences, the risk for AIDS among adult-film actors is obvious.

Reference:

Berger SA. VIPatients 2012, Iphone and Android Application.

Famous People: How They Died in 2008

(In addition to its decision support application dealing with Infectious Diseases, Microbiology and Toxicology, GIDEON Informatics, Inc as part of GIDEON Labs, maintains a second service – www.VIPatients.com – which follows the diseases and deaths of all famous persons throughout history. The user can review all diseases of a specific VIP, or generate a list of famous persons by Profession, Disease, Year – or any combination. The following is based on data generated from the site).

On December 31, the Media will once again recount all of the wars, earthquakes, divorces, births, rapes, sporting records …. Inevitably, a long list of famous persons will have passed on: most “after a long illness,” “suddenly” or “of natural causes.” 427 famous folk died of specified misfortunes in 2008. For the purpose of this research, “famous” is defined as “well recognized by the general public at large.”

(more…)

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