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Dr John Snow - introduction

60 second histories

This video covers:  An introduction to John Snow, who he is and his thoughts on Cholera 

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I am Doctor John Snow; I’m an obstetrician, a doctor who specialises in childbirth and the female reproductive system, for those who don’t know. But although this is my specialist area I have interests in many aspects of medical science, for instance cholera. Now cholera is a terrible disease, which attacks the intestinal area and can prove fatal within hours of the first symptoms, which are vomiting and diarrhoea. Between eighteen thirty-one and eighteen fifty-four tens of thousands of people died of cholera in Britain. I was determined to find the cause of this devastating disease so I published an article in eighteen forty-nine outlining my theory, which was that cholera was caused by water contaminated by sewage. The trouble was that other doctors and scientists believed me to be wrong; they stuck to the belief that cholera was caused by a miasma in the atmosphere. In other words they believed that you could catch cholera by breathing in polluted or bad air, which I knew to be nonsense. But proving my theory was a difficult task.
Medicine & Health
Victorian Reformers
Key people
Victorian Reformers
Medicine & health
Dr John Snow
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