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DATE: 1956

LENGTH: 47 min

CATEGORY: Research and Documentation, Color, Silent

CREATOR: Telford H. Work


Kyasanur Forest Disease is a superlative film, in large part because it is the only film for which a narration by Work exists. It is also cohesively crafted, with a strong narrative arc that documents possibly the most significant research breakthrough of Work’s storied career. In 1957, Work was the Director of the Virus Research Center in Poona (now Pune), India, under the umbrella of the Rockefeller Foundation, which had begun establishing field laboratories worldwide that focused on arboviruses. Work was on the job when he and his team made the first documented discovery of a deadly new virus–to be called the Kyasanur Forest Disease–that had begun to spread in southern India….Read The Essay

Supplementary Materials

Stills from Kyasanur Forest Disease

Other Films Featured in the Essay “The Films of Virologist Telford Work”

In the Collections of the National Library of Medicine

NLM Historical Audiovisuals Collection

For a list of all cataloged Telford Work films in the collection visit the NLM LocatorPlus Catalog. Catalog records include holdings information and links to digitized films in NLM Digital Collections when available. Titles not available in NLM Digital Collections can be requested for viewing on-demand. Contact the Historical Audiovisuals curator via the NLM Support Center.

NLM Archives and Modern Manuscripts Collections

History of Medicine Finding Aids is the central access point, provided by the Archives and Modern Manuscripts, Prints and Photographs, and Historical Audiovisuals collections, for information and descriptions of archival collections at the National Library of Medicine. Explore the complete Finding Aid to the Telford H. Work Papers.

The following images are selections from the Telford H. Work Papers, Series 14: Photographs, 1940s–1970s.


Related Resources from the National Library of Medicine

Medicine on Screen

Also on Medicine on Screen is an essay, “An Epidemiological Expedition Into the Interior of Africa” by Paul Theerman, PhD, that discusses another film by Work, Reconnaissance for Yellow Fever in the Nuba Mountains, Southern Sudan, 1954 in the NLM Collections. NLM also holds a silent version, Yellow Fever in the Sudan, that provided the footage for Reconnaissance for Yellow Fever.

Circulating Now

Learn more about collections related to virology on Circulating Now, specifically, see NLM Collections Tour: Epidemics and NLM Collections Tour: Vaccines.


For trusted, current health information explore the MedlinePlus health topic on viral infections.  Learn about current research and education in virology in the MedlinePlus Magazine article “The Montana Wild Virus Hunt.”

External Resources

Articles and Websites

“Telford H. Work: A Tribute,” by Charles H. Calisher, Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, 1996, accessed via The Biodiversity Library, cited in PubMed

Debunking COVID-19 Myths” from the Mayo Clinic

Virology at NIH

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) conducts and supports basic and applied research to better understand, treat, and ultimately prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases. Learn more about the NIAID Laboratory of Virology.

More Medicine on Screen

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