3.3 Fighting cholera in London, 1854

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  • 3.3 Fighting cholera in London, 1854
    • Fighting cholera
      • Death within a week; diarrhea, sickness, dehydration and blue skin. Person-to-person or through contamination of water with faeces.
      • arrived in Feb 1832, killing +5,000 by the end of the year. most prominent in slums and work houses etc. but the rich were not unaffected.
    • Attempts to prevent the spread of cholera
    • John Snow
      • Wrote 'On the mode of Communication of Cholera'
        • suggested that cholera could not be transmitted by a miasma, because it effected the gut, and not the lungs.
          • that drinking water was being contaminated by the cholera-ridden faeces  being deposited in the city's drains.
        • concluded that Cholera was transmitted by dirty drinking water.
      • The 1854 epidemic
        • Snow created a spot map to show where the deaths had occur in the area around Golden Square and Broad street
          • realized that there was a patters: deaths were concentrated around the water pump on Broad street
            • removed the handle and the cholera outbreak went away very quickly.
            • the well was very close to a cesspit, which had cracked, allowing waste to seep into the well and spread cholera.
              • this was before germ theory so there was no scientific evidence
      • Impact and significance
        • advised the Gov to plan/build a sewer system
          • 'The Great Stink': a hot day where the water levels dropped to expose all the sewage heating up. this acted as encouragement.
          • Joseph Bazalgette
            • planned and completed the sewage system
        • many regected Snow's work: hung to miasma. admitting to it would mean having to  take expensive steps as to stop the spread.
        • immediate impact on the residents of Broad street , yet it is only until much later that the importance of clean water was accepted

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