Inquirer Journalist Shares How He Learned of The Hill School Doctor Who Prevented Deadly Measles Outbreak in 1934

hill school
Tom Avril shares how he found out about a Montgomery County doctor, J. Roswell Gallagher, who prevented a deadly measles outbreak at The Hill School in 1934. (Image via Boarding School Review)

Tom Avril, who wrote about the Montgomery County doctor who prevented a deadly measles outbreak at The Hill School in 1934, first learned about J. Roswell Gallagher in an article published in The Wall Street Journal, writes The Philadelphia Inquirer.

J. Roswell Gallagher. Image via American Academy of Pediatrics.

A Johns Hopkins University professor had mentioned Gallagher and provided a brief description of the virus outbreak the doctor had encountered at The Hill School.

Since this took place in Pottstown, Avril decided to learn more.

He emailed the Hopkins professor who sent him a link to Gallagher’s original study of the 1934 virus outbreak. He also got a few more details from the professor before he started writing.

He found that Gallagher took antibody-laden “serum” from the blood of an infected person and infused it into other people to protect them from becoming sick – an approach that could prove useful today.

“I learned that in China, physicians already were trying this very same approach in treating the new coronavirus,” said Avril. “Dr. Gallagher was treating a different virus — measles — but the idea is the same.”

Read more about J. Roswell Gallagher at The Philadelphia Inquirer by clicking here.


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