Suggestive of the preference of most parishioners for one particular pump (which went down in history as the Broad Street pump
) over others was the tendency of cholera deaths to cluster in the streets close to it while decreasing, roughly speaking, at streets that required people to walk further to collect water from another pump.
Chancing on this fascinating read for the first time on the van's last visit The Medical Detective plots the story of Cholera from India to the Broad Street pump
. This is not a sawdust dry history of the development and understanding of the disease but a well written account skilfully entwined with the personalities and issues involved.
In both cases geographic profiling successfully located the sources of the disease - the Broad Street pump
in London, and the breeding habitats of the mosquito Anopheles sergentii in Cairo.
(Go to London, and you can see the infamous Broad Street pump
, now a memorial to the triumph of medical epidemiology over ignorance and fear.)
John Snow, Henry Whitehead, the Broad Street pump
, and beginnings of geographical epidemiology.
John Snow's use of early epidemiologic tools to associate cholera deaths with water from the Broad Street pump
, Louis Pasteur's development of vaccines, and Robert Koch's discovery of tubercle bacillus and the cholera vibrio all get their deserved attention; Florence Nightingale's use of numerical data to demonstrate improvements in patient hygiene comes as a pleasant surprise.
THE STRANGE CASE OF THE BROAD STREET PUMP
: John Snow and the Mystery of Cholera
This year we are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the famous Broad Street Pump
On August 31, 1854, London experienced a recurrent epidemic of cholera; Snow suspected water from the Broad Street pump
as the source of disease.
Indeed, some of the most profound influences on medicine have arisen from observations from practice: from the days of John Snow and the Broad Street pump
(the point source of a cholera epidemic in London in 1854) to Curtis Hames's groundbreaking research in cardiac disease.
The Broad Street pump
, whose poisoned waters were famously stopped by Dr John Snow, was at the heart of Rogers' catchment area.