Dealing with epidemics in late nineteenth century Dublin - A case study of typhoid fever
Epidemics were a regular fact of life in Dublin during the second half of the nineteenth century. There were many infectious diseases to cope with as well as diseases of the respiratory and nervous systems. Death from such diseases was not an unusual occurrence, particularly among the poorer classes, but occasionally annual rates would surge to epidemic levels. Medical knowledge was undergoing a significant advance with an understanding of the role of bacteria displacing the centuries-old theory of miasma but it would be the following century before the role of viruses would be understood. It took some time for miasma to be entirely discounted with bacteria merely replacing the animal poisons previously believed to be the cause of illness. This was just as well as dealing with miasma involved an emphasis on public sanitation and hygiene: effective whether miasma, bacterium or virus. Dublin experienced a typhoid fever epidemic in 1891 and 1893 and the analysis undertaken at the time was unusual for its depth and the quality of geographical information provided. This paper examines that outbreak and explores the importance of geographical factors in explaining its distribution.
How to Cite
LicenseAuthors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).