Born on March 15 of 1813, John Snow was born and grew up in a very poor city near the River Ouse. Because his home was so close to the river, his neighborhood was always at risk of flooding. Snow studied and became an Anesthesiologist. Later on in his life, Snow earned the title of the "father of epidemiology" when he was able to track down the source of a cholera outbreak in a water system London.
John Snow's Hypothesis
One famous study that Snow carried out was when the Cholera outbreak in the Golden Square in London took place. By analyzing the relationship between the water supply sites and the outbreaks of cholera, Snow derived his hypothesis that contaminated water supplies cause disease outbreaks. He was able to arrive to this hypothesis without the help of advanced technology such as the microscope which is why his findings were of great significance for his time. Keep in mind, it was not known in this time that bacteria were possible origins of disease. Even without this knowledge Snow figured out the source of the cholera wave and put it to an end.
Cholera Epidemic in London
In 1854, London was hit harshly with an acute infectious disease by the name of Cholera. This disease took with it thousands of lives and devastated many families. When an individual is infected with Cholera, they experience violent vomiting and diarrhea. Because of the symptoms of Cholera, they lose huge amounts of body fluids and become dangerously dehydrated. If left untreated, the infected person will eventually die. Cholera is a waterborne disease, however when it struck London in 1854 people had pre-existing beliefs that it was airborne. That is why when John Snow proposed that it was infact a waterborne, many people thought he...
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...g in, and the level of education they receive. Similarly to how Snow showed the relationship between water supply and cholera deaths, this type of data would compare the social determinants f health and the cholera deaths. The areas where cholera erupted were poverty-stricken so health disparities definitely played a role in these areas.
The Role that Maps played in the Cholera Epidemic
The spot map Snow used played a huge role in identifying the source of the cholera wave. By drawing in spots of all the locations of the infected residents and also the water pumps, he could see that a certain pump had the most spots near or around it. The map served as a visual representation of what was happening and was a simple way to show himself and officials that the disease was waterborne rather than airborne.
Comparison of Current Fracking to the Historic Cholera Epidemic