This is but another reminder of the role science and medicine can play in improving the lives of people no matter where they live.
Originally posted on TED Blog:
Shanghai. New York. Tehran. Tokyo. Today, dozens of cities worldwide are each home to many millions of people. But those masses of humanity might not exist in such tight quarters if not for John Snow. (No, not that Jon Snow. This John Snow.)
Snow was a 19th-century English doctor who’s credited with proving that cholera, a sometimes deadly infection that attacks the small intestine, spreads through contaminated water — and not by “bad air” as was generally believed at the time.
[ted_talkteaser id=61]As described in Steven Johnson’s 2006 TED Talk, “The Ghost Map,” a particularly vicious cholera outbreak in 1854 at a popular water pump in London killed an astonishing 10 percent of the people who lived nearby. Snow created a map showing which people had consumed the water from the pump and whether they had gotten sick. His map helped convince local health authorities that his theory was the correct one, and by the next severe outbreak in 1866 they officially recommended that people boil water before drinking or using it, curbing the spread.