Cholera In The Ghost Map

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The Ghost Map written by Steven Johnson is a historical account of the infectious outbreak of Cholera in Soho, London. The outbreak could be found primarily in the Golden Square; which could be considered one of the poorest and overpacked areas of London during the 1850’s. The story takes place in late August of 1854 as many fell ill and soon after passing away. The symptoms were horrible and the disease killed and spread quickly. Cholera was not uncommon during this time, Londoners were aware of the disease spreading around the country in years past. Even with a name to the disease the spread could not be stopped. Residents were falling ill daily, and most thought infection spread through smell. They referred to this killer smell as "miasma”. The main character in the novel, John Snow, had a different theory about the spread of Cholera. He believed it spread through ingestion of contaminated drinking water; specifically, the water found at the Broad Street Pump. Sanitation was lacking in London during this time. London did not have a functional sewage system, human waste gathered in basement cesspool, flushed into rivers, or thrown in the street. The result of poor sanitation led to the contamination of…show more content…
The chapter, Revisiting the Broad Street Pump was an excellent way to bring together the past and the present. Johnson writes, “When John Snow and Henry Whitehead roamed the urban corridors of London 1854, less than 10 percent of the planet's population lived in cities, up from 3 percent from the start of that century.” Now close to 50 percent of the population live in urban areas. Not only did he tie up the novel with how public health works today, but with the idea that humans are “engines of health”. We learned how to deal with health from the events of Soho, London in

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