Cholera Essay Introduction

Cholera Essay Introduction-54
Snow asked residents at each address to identify their water supplier.If unknown, Snow asked them to look at their water payment receipts.

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To commemorate the 160th anniversary of the publication of Snow’s second edition of and to redress this epidemiological slight, we highlight John Snow’s important work in South London, unearth the original data that Snow collected at great risk to his own personal health and present a first-time mapping of these data in time and space.

We trust that this piece will foster a deeper appreciation for John Snow’s contribution to epidemiology and increase respect for small yet valuable epidemiological data.

Because of its close proximity to downtown, the intake drew water contaminated with sewage that had emptied into the River Thames.

Arthur Hill Hassall, a British physician, stated that ‘This water was the most disgusting which I have ever examined: when I first saw the water of the Southwark Company, I thought it as bad as it could be, but this far exceeded it in the peculiarly repulsive character of living contents’.

Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, Mc Gill University, 1020 Pine Avenue West, Montréal, QC, H3A 1A2, Canada.

E-mail: [email protected] devoted 25 pages to listing the details surrounding the deaths of 334 people who died during the first 4 weeks of the 1854 epidemic.To exploit the Grand Experiment, Snow and his assistant, Mr John Joseph Whiting, visited the addresses where each of the cholera deaths occurred and recorded the details surrounding each death.Snow placed Mr Whiting in charge of visiting the addresses that lay in districts where water was supplied only by the Southwark and Vauxhall Waterworks Company.However, Snow's 'germ' theory of disease was not widely accepted until the 1860s.Snow was also a pioneer in the field of anaesthetics.John Snow, along with his assistant Mr John Joseph Whiting, visited the dwellings of every person who died from cholera in South London during this period.With utmost attention to detail and at great risk to their own personal health, Snow and Whiting recorded important details surrounding the deaths of these individuals.However, Snow did not accept this 'miasma' (bad air) theory, arguing that in fact entered the body through the mouth.He published his ideas in an essay 'On the Mode of Communication of Cholera' in 1849.Frost only listed the first 23 of the 334 entries that John Snow recorded in his original essay, and followed this truncated list with the words: ‘In the original publication the list of deaths is continued in this form for a total of twenty-five pages (p. In contrast to the small number of copies that John Snow sold, thousands of copies of the1936 reprint were published and widely disseminated.Unfortunately the wide availability of this reprint has perpetuated the omission of these data and undermines the role that they played in identifying the mode of communication of cholera.


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