Snow's Choolera Outbreak

613 Words3 Pages
It is clear that overpopulation and unsanitary conditions are to blame for the cholera outbreak. Issues of diagnosing cholera became difficult, due to society’s previous views on the cause of disease. Miasma became the believed and accepted cause of the outbreak. Snow’s overall difficulty would come from disproving this hypothesis, along with convincing individuals that cholera was infact a water borne illness, originating from Broad St well. Snow was the founder of the first epidemiology board in London, and thus incorporated important tools of epidemiology into his detective work with cholera. Snow began to track the cases of cholera and link them with the overall outcome. Snow’s initial hypothesis was that cholera initiated from the Broad…show more content…
The accepted idea for the cause of cholera was the idea of miasma. Miasma was the belief that all disease originated from the stench of the city. If this idea were true, the workers who spent their lives working in the sewers should have become sick early in their lives. This idea became false, as many of these workers would live well past their sixties. The next challenge came with the individuals who drank from the Broad St. pump and did not become sick and perish from cholera. “Watching his parishioners drink gallons of Broad Street water from their seeming deathbeds-and then subsequently recover. Whitehead had his own survival in mind as well; he had drunk from the well at the very height of the outbreak, after all. If the well was truly poisoned, why had he been spared.” page 175. It was these cases which Snow must still prove that cholera originated from the pump. Ultimately the map of cholera cases and deaths, along with the help and knowledge of Whitehead, allowed Snow to convince the public and health board members that his initial hypothesis was correct. The removal of the pump handle, which ultimately lead to a lower mortality rate, also helped solidify Snow’s hypothesis. Snow was able to overcome these challenges with his incredible resilience, incredible statistical evidence and maps, and the fact that he challenged public
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