Medicine: New High

A young doctor at Brooklyn's Bushwick hospital squinted incredulously at the thermometer in his hand. The reading: 110° Fahrenheit. Two more readings with two other thermometers convinced Dr. Moritz Wilchfort that Student Nurse Sophie Sapala, 21, suffering from undulant fever, had hit a new high in body heat and lived. High fever marks (with survival) previously recorded in medical history: 107° to 108°.

Nurse Sapala's top fever lasted less than an hour. Some other physicians were skeptical, recalled that even 108° temperatures had usually injured brain tissue, caused a quick death. Patient Sapala, recovering...

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