There's sickness. There's vomiting. There's suffering. There's blood. There's even death. Just when you think you can get way from the terror in Philadelphia, it gets you and dissolves your entire family while you're sleeping in the night, dreaming of fairies and marshmallows, and the boy down the road. You have no idea it is here, and you have no idea it would come for you…it's the yellow fever and nothing less. Yellow fever is a severe infectious disease, caused by a virus. Since that time, much has been learned about medicine, transportation and technology. What was thought might work then has been modified into what will work now.
In Laurie Halse Anderson's Fever 1793, the setting of this story takes place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It's the year 1793 and the only thing little fourteen-year-old Mattie Cook needs to worry about is how to avoid her mother's scolding. Always up stitching quilts, spinning wool, she constantly kept herself busy. There was never a moment to spare. Mattie lives with her mother and grandfather in Philadelphia in an apartment over their family business, a coffeehouse. Mattie's father founded the coffeehouse but then died short after.
So much has changed in the field of health and medicine since the year 1793. When Mattie's mother contracts a raging fever that turned its victim's skin and eyes yellow, she sees doctor after doctor. Each one believed they knew the cure. The people of Philadelphia thought if they couldn't see nor smell the fever they were safe; but they were deathly mistaken. Health and medicine has taken a major improvement between now and then however. If you get sick now you can easily drive to a hospital with advanced technology and doctors everywhere to prescribe drugs. Back in 1793, they had no magic pills to make you better or take away the agony; the best way they had of curing the fever was to bleed your wrists and hope you get better. We know now, studies have proved, this method was not...