Summary Of The 1854 Choolera Breakout In London

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During the 1854 cholera breakout in London, many factors contributed to the resistance to innovation regarding the causation of this disease. Class prejudices, folklore, and the general acceptance of the miasmas theory created a resistance so strong that thousands of Londoners died before the Board of Public Health finally accepted the possibility that cholera was being spread through drinking water. John Snow, a highly acclaimed anesthesiologist of the time, developed a theory that suggested a possible reason for the sudden wave of illness throughout the streets of London. After countless days walking the disease-stricken streets of south London, many hours spent pondering the day’s research, and personal intuition that told him that problems with the digestive system…show more content…
William Farr, an employee of the government’s General Register Office. Farr had rationalized that soil closer to sea level or near a riverbank would contain more organic waste, causing the surrounding air to become contaminated with miasmatas and to give off a sensorially unpleasant smell. The Daily Records, which accounted for all of the week’s deaths and the victim’s level of apartment, seemed to agree with Farr’s suggestion, calculating that more individuals died if they lived on lower levels rather than higher ones. But when supporters of the theory were confronted about why only certain individuals became ill from the stench, there was not a proven scientific reason. The miasma-believers turned to lifestyles of the diseased - if the individual was leading a good life then they would have been spared. This reasoning seemed plausible enough for the fear-stricken citizens of London, and soon the miasma theory would gain such a broad acceptance that Snow’s water-borne theory would be completely
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