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Dr. John Snow
Photo of Dr. John Snow

In 1854 a cholera epidemic raged across Europe. The onset of the disease is sudden and death can result in as little as a week. In London, one devastating outbreak claimed the lives of 500 people in just ten days. The search for the cure and the cause was fast and furious, but no one had yet stopped the insidious epidemic.

That is until one man with a hypothesis successfully traced the source of infection. Dr. John Snow walked through London documenting the location of every death. His map indicated that the outbreak had occurred within a 250 yard radius of the Broad Street water pump. With further research, Dr. Snow explained anomalies and pointed to the water as the main source of the disease. He had the water pump removed. His theory was proved correct within three days when the epidemic abated. With this first known example of epidemiological research, Dr. Snow became the 'father of modern epidemiology.'

 

 

 

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