Infectious diseases have threatened life and social order throughout human history, inducing deep and pervasive fear. The story of Fairfield Hospital is central to the story of infectious diseases in Victoria, and is thus a significant chapter in Australia's history. Fairfield Infectious Diseases Hospital began life in 1904 as a fever hospital. It treated patients for typhoid, diphtheria, cholera and smallpox, and grappled with epidemics of polio and scarlet fever. It later became one of the world's foremost centres for the research and treatment of infectious diseases, especially HIV/AIDS. And then it was closed, in 1996, amid controversy, protest and distress. Fever Hospital is an invaluable record of the work and achievements of Fairfield. W. K. Anderson sets these achievements in the context of Australian developments in medicine and health. He describes important initiatives in research, medical treatment and patient care. He traces a century of change in organisational structure and personnel. The combined expertise of the Fairfield Hospital team is now scattered.
But Anderson, in gathering together the fruits of their knowledge, experience and skill, has ensured that the story of a remarkable and much-loved hospital is not lost to us. Fever Hospital is a valuable social and institutional history. But above all it is a faithful, tangible and generously illustrated record of a great hospital, written for the people who worked at Fairfield and for those who found healing and comfort there.show more