Burnet becomes infected while studying a chicken virus, advances understanding of the disease.

Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet becomes infected with a chicken virus, while researching the relationship between a fowl virus called Newcastle disease (NDV) and influenza.

“Through a lapse of attention in the laboratory received a rather large splash of egg fluid heavily infected with NDV in one eye. Twenty-four hours later I had a ‘roaring’ conjunctivitis and was an out-patient at the [US Army] Fourth General’s ophthalmological service! Their treatment was successful; so were our investigations to prove that this really was an NDV infection. My personal case of NDV eye infection so became the first report in the literature of what was subsequently recognized to be a rather common complaint of poultry handlers.”  - Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet

Burnet, F (1971) Walter and Eliza Hall Institute 1915-1965. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press