John Snow, born into a poor family in York in 1813, had seen the devastating effects of cholera first hand
Twenty years later, Snow was working in London as a very successful doctor
At this time there were two main theories about how people caught diseases, including cholera
Theory 1the miasma theory___________________________Disease caused by dirty air known as ‘Cholera, for example, is carried rough the air like poisonous gas or an infected mist. The stinking, dirty air coming from the filthy towns causes disease!
Theory 2The contagion theory______________________________Disease isn’t caused by foul air at all. It’s caused by having personal contact with a sick person, their clothes or bedding, for example. The sick person is ‘ contagious’ and passes on the disease to someone else.
When Snow was training to be a doctor in Newcastle in 1831, a cholera outbreak killed over 300 people.
Snow marked off where all the victims lived.
He even treated Queen Victoria when she was pregnant
Snow discovered a street toilet, just a few metres from the pump, had a cracked lining.
The discovery that cholera could be passed on from person to person through dirty water (or similar) was a remarkable achievement
NOTICEPrevention of CHOLERA!Published by Board of HealthBe careful with food and drink, especially raw vegetables and fruitAVOID COLD WATER...
And he made an amazing discovery! He found out that all the victims got their water from the same water pump in Broad Street. Those who didn’t catch cholera were getting their water from other places.
So filthy sewage was getting into the drinking water.
Although he had theories, Snow didn’t know about germs in the water ( germs weren’t linked to disease until 1860), but he was still a ‘public health hero’. In March 2003, Hospital Doctor magazine voted John Snow the ‘Greatest doctor of all time’.