Strange Case of the Broad Street Pump

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Submitted by to the category Literature on 02/13/2013 06:48 PM

Summary

The Strange Case of the Broad Street Pump by Sandra Hempel, takes it's readers on a journey of the epidemic cholera and it's researchers. No one knows how Cholera began its existence in the world, but it is known that it originated in north-east India. Where it began to take lives in great abundances. The unknown disease, cholera, moved from country to country initially skipping Europe, but finally coming back to make its mark.

During the 17th century the doctors of Europe had not yet seen the epidemic known as Asiatic cholera in Europe, but they were aware of the effects because of the medical men who had taken notes on the disease. It was noted that patients had "constant diarrhea, cramps; pinched, icy face; blue distorted fingers and toes; and 'corrugated' hands (Hempel, 49)."

After it was announced to the public that cholera had infiltrated Europe medical men were asked to help find causes and treatments. There weren't any experiments that could be created to find either a cause nor a cure. Due to the way John Snow brought all the information he had gathered together, he was able to locate a cause, even though no one accepted it until seventeen years after his death.

John Snow believed that the cause of the disease was the water. Snow visited numerous homes and asked about the water supply. He learned that many of the people that had died from cholera had received their water from the same water company, East London Waterworks. He created a pamphlet with the information he had gathered and created a map showing the deaths in the Broad Street area. Snow had made the connection that many of the deaths were caused by the water of the Broad Street pump. Snow died before he was able to definitely explain what was wrong with the water, but even with all this evidence his work went unbelieved and unheard.

After Snow's death a man, William Farr, began trying to find the cause of cholera and he did. Farr proved that the water from East London...

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