Significance Magazine

London cholera and the blind‐spot of an epidemiology theory

Journal Article

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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