1804 · Florence
by PALLONI, Gaetano
8vo. 34 pp. Bound in slightly later binder's waste wrappers, uncut. An excellent copy of an exceedingly rare medical text. First edition, a reflection on the four-month long yellow fever epidemic in Livorno by the doctor who saved the city. In August 1804, a ship sailing from Spain docked in the port of Livorno carrying a crew suffering the advanced stages of the disease. No quarantine measures were taken because Spain was usually considered a safe country of origin, so yellow fever spread rapidly through the Tuscan city. City officials called Palloni, already a celebrated physician and epidemiologist in Florence, to travel to Livorno and address the problem. He instated rigorous quarantine, sanitation, and isolation measures for all city residents, and the epidemic was over before the end of the year. In the text, he stresses that systems of this kind are necessary in all countries to stop the spread of deadly viruses; in a note on page 21-22, he recalls the 1793 epidemic in Philadelphia that spread to New York due to a failure to institute the necessary sanitation measures.
We have located only 2 copies of this timely book in U.S. collections (Harvard and NLM). (Inventory #: 18263)