Walking into a Cholera Epidemic

Before Class


The Ghost Map, (Preface, Chs 1 & 2, pp. vx-55) (Johnson 2007)

During Class

We will begin discussing one of the foundational stories of modern infectious disease epidemiology: The 1854 London Cholera Outbreak. We will focus first on understanding what this outbreak looked like: What happens when you get Cholera, how it is spread, who is most vulnerable, etc.

We will also begin making some connections between the historical example laid out in the book and the very real challenges that remain in combating Cholera today, and in communicating new scientific ideas to a not-always-receptive audience.

Additional Resources


Johnson, Steven. 2007. The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic–and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World. Reprint edition. London: Riverhead Books.