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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

In Search of the Broad Street Pump

I am in London today (Sunday 5:00 AM – a bit jet-lagged) and am off to see if I can find the Broad Street Pump – famous because John Snow (a.k.a., father of Epidemiology) figured out that is was the water from the pump that was the vector in the 1854 Cholera outbreak.  Inside the cover of Steven Johnson’s “The Ghost Map” reads:

It is the summer of 1854. Cholera has seized London with unprecedented intensity. A metropolis of more than 2 million people, London is just emerging as a one of the first modern cities in the world. But lacking the infrastructure necessary to support its dense population – garbage removal, clean water, sewers – the city has become the perfect breeding ground for a terrifying disease no one knows how to cure.

But for John Show, my job tracking foodborne illness outbreaks would be a bit harder.  In the map above, I am staying about two blocks North of the intersection of Regent and Oxford – right across the Street from "All Souls Church" (and a Starbucks) on Langham.  I also saw press reports of the final settlement in the Sizzler case from 2000.  A great result on a very sad case.

  • JR

    Yes, the Ghost Map was a fantastic read! A good review was published in the CDC’s Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal: http://www.cdc.gov/EID/content/13/7/1134.htm

  • The Ghost Map should be must reading for anyone involved in medicine and public health. I fly to London tomorrow on business, but hope on Monday to go see the Pump. Thanks for your report above!