EDITOR'S NOTE: The following guidelines were written within days of the first yellow fever death. (A scan of the original handwritten minutes is here.) 

August 26, 1793

The College of Physicians having taken into consideration the malignant and contagious Fever which now prevails in the city, have agreed to recommend to their Fellow Citizens, the following means of preventing its Progress:


First - That all unnecessary intercourse should be avoided with such persons as are infected by it.

Second - To place a mark upon the door or window of such houses as have any infected persons in them.

Third - To place the persons infected in the center of large and airy rooms, in beds without curtains, and to pay the strictest regard to cleanliness, by frequently changing their body and bed linen; also by removing, as speedily as possible, all offensive matters from their rooms.

Fourth - To provide a large and airy Hospital in the neighborhood of the City, for the reception of such poor persons as cannot be accommodated with the above advantages in private houses.

Fifth - To put a stop to the Tolling of the Bells.

Sixth - To bury such persons as die of this Fever in carriages, and in as private a manner as possible.

Seventh - To keep the Streets and Wharves of the City as clean as possible - As the contagion of the disease may be taken into the body, and perhaps out of it without producing the Fever, unless it be rendered active by some occasional cause, the following means should be attended to, to prevent the contagion being excited into action in the body.

Eighth - To avoid all fatigue of body and mind.

Ninth - To avoid standing or sitting in the sun, also in a current of air, or in the evening air.

Tenth - To accommodate the dress to the weather, and to exceed rather in warm than in cold clothing.

Eleventh - To avoid intemperance, but to use fermented liquors, such as wine, beer, and cider, with moderation.

The College conceive Fires to be very ineffectual, if not dangerous means of checking the progress of the Fever. They have reason to place more dependence on the burning of Gunpowder. The benefits of Vinegar & Camphor are confined chiefly to infected rooms, and they cannot be used too frequently upon handkerchiefs, or in smelling bottles, by persons whose duty calls them to visit or attend the sick.

SOURCE: Minutes of committee meeting of the College of Physicians; archives of College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Some spellings have been modernized for ease of reading.