Write down all the unhygienic aspects of this image – 3 mins
Cholera was one of the most feared infectious diseases of the Industrial age. It came from India – a by-product of the British empire and trade.
Cholera first struck England in 1831 , killing some 30,000 people in an outbreak lasting the best part of a year. The vast majority of these deaths were of people living in overcrowded slums with poor housing and little, if any, provision of clean water.
Known as 'King Cholera ' due to the way in which the disease mastered, controlled and decided the fate the people it struck on several further occasions in the 19th century.
WALT (What am I learning today?)
Why Cholera was such a terrifying disease and the impact of John Snow on stopping it
WILF (What am I looking for?) All – Identify and recall the key aspects of the story and explain in a simple manner the method Snow used. Most – Explain in a developed manner the causes of the cholera spreading so fast and the methods of Snow A Few – Analyse the impact Snow made on Public Health.
Battle over Public Health
By the early1800s many cities and towns had grown because of the Industrial Revolution.
Such large populations led to the spread of disease like cholera, typhoid etc.
No-one was quite sure who was in charge of public health in Britain.
Government believed in Laissez Faire – leave alone. Any MPs who were against Government intervention were known as belonging to the Dirty Party .
Read pages 144 to 145
Create a spider diagram of the problems faced in industrial towns
Answer questions 1 and 2.
1848 Public Health Act
This was the outcome of Chadwick's Sanitary report and the pressure applied on Parliament by the Health of Towns Association. But also by a further Cholera outbreak in 1847/8.
Public Health Act 1848
The main features of the act were:
The establishment of a Central Board of health
Responsibility for water supplies and drainage, amongst other things, was given to corporations
Permission was granted to towns that did not have corporation status to have a Local Board of health
Taxes would be levied, locally, to pay for the improvements
Where the death rate exceeded 23 in every 1000, a Local Board of health could be imposed by the Central Board of health.
Public Health Act Analysis
This act was one of the first to challenge the notion of Laissez-Faire. however it had its limitations. The Central board of Health had limited funds and there was no compulsion to ensure that officials were suitably trained or qualified. Within some localities there was hostility to interference from central government and this led to inadequate improvements being made. Health was still not a ministerial responsibility, and therefore the power of the Central Board of health was limited.
John Snow (1813 - 1858) was a British doctor who is considered one of the founders of epidemiology (disease finder) for his work identifying the source of a cholera outbreak in 1854.
At the time, it was assumed that cholera was airborne. 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.
A few years later, Snow was able to prove his theory in dramatic circumstances. In August 1854 a cholera outbreak occurred in Soho. After careful investigation, including plotting cases of cholera on a map of the area, Snow was able to identify a water pump in Broad (now Broadwick) Street as the source of the disease.
Link to animated map of Cholera spread
Broad Street Pump
He had the handle of the pump removed, and cases of cholera immediately began to diminish. However, Snow's 'germ' theory of disease was not widely accepted until the 1860s.