London cholera and the blind‐spot of an epidemiology theory

  • Author: Aaron Lai
  • Published: Jun 07, 2011 - From issue: Volume 8 Issue 2 (June 2011)
  • Doi: 10.1111/j.1740-9713.2011.00493.x

It is an August day in the hot summer of 1854. Mrs Lewis of 400 Broad Street is washing her baby's nappy; she empties the water down the drain. Unknown to her, this action will lead to 700 deaths. Her baby has cholera; the drain empties into a cesspit in front of the house; the cesspit is just 3 feet from the public water pump at the corner of the street. Aaron Lai looks at a classic feat of statistical urban epidemiology.

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