Carlos Juan Finlay

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Finlay, Carlos Juan


(Carlos Juan Finlay y Barrés). Born Dec. 3, 1833, in Puerto Principe, now Camagüey; died Aug. 20, 1915, in Havana. Cuban physician and health services organizer. Member of the Academy of Medical and Natural Sciences in Havana.

Finlay studied in France and Germany. In 1855 he graduated from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia (USA) and that same year began working in Cuba. He was the first director of the public health service of Cuba (1902–09) and was one of the authors of Cuba’s first health code.

Finlay’s primary work was in research on yellow fever. In 1881 he proved that the carrier of the disease was a mosquito, Aëdes aegypti, and between 1893 and 1898 developed methods for combating the disease, including the protection of patients from mosquito bites by physical means, the elimination of the carriers’ breeding grounds, quarantine and evacuation of patients, a fumigation procedure, and improvement in hospital services. He also conducted research on other diseases, such as trichinosis, tuberculosis, malaria, and leprosy, and worked on questions of occupational health and sanitary statistics. In 1928 the Order of Finlay, awarded for outstanding work in the field of public health, was established in Cuba. The Institute of Tropical Medicine and the Historical Museum of Medical Science of the Academy of Sciences of Cuba have been named for Finlay; in 1961 his birthday was designated as the Day of Latin American Medicine by the government of Cuba.


Obras completas, vols. 1–5. Havana, 1965–71.


Bogoiavlenskii, N. A., and lu. P. Lisitsyn. O russko-kubinskikh meditsinskikh sviaziakh. Moscow, 1963.
Rodriguez Esposito, C. Finlay por cuarta vez ante el Congreso internacional de historia de la medicina. Havana, 1971.


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Nadie le hacia caso al doctor Carlos Finlay. El medico cubano afirmaba ante la burla general que un mosquito, el Aedes Aegypti, era el culpable de todo.
At one of its first post-war assemblies, in November 1898, the recently repatriated academician Carlos Finlay reformulated his old proposition that yellow fever was transmitted by the Culex mosquito.
Heroes in unravelling the mysteries of the cause of yellow fever include Dr Carlos Finlay (1833-1915)--a Cuban doctor of French and Scottish descent who was the first, in 1881, to theorise that a mosquito was a carrier of the organism causing yellow fever.
Los descubrimientos de latinoamericanos tan destacados como Oswaldo Cruz y Carlos Finlay habian creado gran revuelo en la Convencion Sanitaria Internacional de las Republicas Americanas.
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Carlos Finlay Elementary School, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami, FL
The Cuban Instituto Carlos Finlay developed the vaccine after a meningitis outbreak in Cuba in the 1980s.
The vaccine was developed by the Carlos Finlay Institute in Havana.
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(1893); chaired a committee investigating the causes of typhoid fever (1898); later led a team investigating yellow fever which proved Carlos Finlay's theory that the disease was spread by the Stegomyia mosquito, later known as Aedes aegypti (June 1900-February 1901), and so enabled the army to eliminate yellow fever from Cuba and Panama; returned to Washington (February 1901) and died of an acute appendicitis attack there (November 22, 1902).