Gorgas, William (Crawford)

Gorgas, William (Crawford)

(born Oct. 3, 1854, Mobile, Ala., U.S.—died July 3, 1920, London, Eng.) U.S. Army surgeon. Son of the Confederate general Josiah Gorgas (1818–83), he served in the U.S. Army for many years. In charge of sanitation measures in Havana with the army's medical corps in 1898, he conducted experiments on mosquito transmission of yellow fever and effectively eliminated it from the area. Sent to Panama in 1904, he eradicated yellow fever from the Canal Zone and brought malaria under control, removing the chief obstacles to building the Panama Canal. He was surgeon general of the U.S. Army from 1914 to 1918.

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Gorgas's Rice Rat (Oryzomys gorgasi) is a species of rodent in the genus Oryzomys of family Cricetidae. It is limited to the lowlands of northwestern Colombia and northwestern Venezuela. The Curaçao Rice Rat (Oryzomys curasoae) may be an insular representative of this species. It was named after physician and entomologist William Crawford Gorgas.


  • Baillie, J. 1996. Oryzomys gorgasi 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 19 July 2007.
  • Hershkovitz, P. 1971. A new rice rat of the Oryzomys palustris group (Cricetinae, Muridae) from northwestern Colombia, with remarks on distribution. Journal of Mammalogy 52(4):700-709.
  • Musser, G. G. and M. D. Carleton. 2005. Superfamily Muroidea. Pp. 894-1531 in Mammal Species of the World a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder eds. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
  • Weksler, M., A. R. Percequillo, and R.S. Voss. 2006. Ten new genera of oryzomyine rodents (Cricetidae: Sigmodontinae). American Museum Novitates 3537:1-29.

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