You may have heard the word Epidemic due to the spreading Of the Corona virus that is everyone talking about, these days. Epidemiology is a scientific study of considering about Prevalence of diseases and health conditions, Factors that can cause a spread, matters In a specific population (a village, a school, a country). Epidemiology which is developed today, Basic is the process of observation and conclusion of a particular doctor. He is John Snow. That was before two centuries from today. This is the born story of epidemiology.
Who is this John Snow
Even though it is an unfamiliar disease to us today, Cholera is a deadly disease that infected a lot of people some time ago. but because of the development in Health (now a specific treatment for that disease had been found) and development in sanitation, this disease is less common.
Cholera infections from the bacterium called Vibrio cholera. Excessive diarrhea is the main symptom. Because of excessive diarrhea, the body loses water. If the body will not get that water back (either like food and drink or As a solution that is delivered directly to the blood vessels) many Patients get dehydrated (Decreased body water volume) Deaths due to cholera are caused by excessive dehydration.
(More details about cholera in this article)
John Snow and cholera
The prevalence of cholera in America and Europe was able to kill thousands of people in the early 19th century. The first cholera outbreak in London happened in 1831. At that time John Snow worked as an Apprentice Physician. again a cholera outbreak happened in London in 1848. The spread of the disease lasts for a long time like a year. At that time Snow was a patient care physician.
During this time doctors thought Cholera infections either from dirty air or by touching each other. Keep in mind, even at this time world did not know diseases infected by viruses. (scientist called Robert Koch discovered that diseases infected From germs in 1884).
John Snow Observed continuously that cholera patient’s primary symptoms are Symptoms related to the digestive tract. Snow guessed that cholera infectious because of dirty water and food rather than dirty air. Even though this conjecture is presented during the cholera epidemic in 1948-49, lots of people did not agree with that.
In the middle of the 1800th decade, London started to be crowded with business and houses. even at this time, London did not have a proper water supply and A drainage system. Many people took water from Water pumps in the city and Public wells. They disposed of the waste to river Thames and open pits called “cesspool”.
The water pumps in London are owned by two companies. the pumped water to the middle of the city from the river Thames and sell to the residents. If it said simply, London was waving their hands to cholera like this. Cholera came to London in 1854 under this situation.
During an epidemic, John Snow created a map of patients by going home by home and searching hospital records for many days in the day and night. He was able to show that many cholera patients lived around one water pump. Snow called this pump “broad street pump” because it was located in the broad street. He had recognized over five hundred cholera deaths around that pump within 10 days. Moreover, he was able to show rest of the cholera patients had a relation with that water pump. Because of that, he Concluded cholera spread because of that water pump.
Snow Presented his discoveries to Responsible officers. Even though they reluctant to agree with john snow’s thought, because of the Intensity of the epidemic officers decided to remove the handle of the pump in a broad street that snow said. After that cholera epidemic decreased in that area. But officers did not like to accept the thought that Cholera pathogens germs were added to a water supply. Cholera started to spread again after starting work as usual after ending the epidemic.
John Snow had to work hard to accept his thought. After some time they found out that Washing water for a child infected with cholera threw to a cesspool nearby that water pumps. the wastes were linked to the pump’s water source via the cesspool’s wall.
finally, snow’s thought was confirmed. around thirty years after that Robert Koch discovered the germ that infects cholera.
John Snow’s research went down to history as the first time where fundamentals of epidemiology were used. And also john snow was named the father of epidemiology.
History had done Justice to a man who believed his knowledge and Scientific thinking between everyone’s Ignorance and insults.