I read a book called The Ghost Map, which is about the discovery of the source of the cholera outbreak in London in 1854. It talks about the unique set of circumstances that gave John Snow a point a view that led him to the Broad street pump as the source of the outbreak. One thing that helped him was his experience with chloroform and ether, which had recently come into use in medicine. From experimentation on himself as well as his collection of lab animals, he was able to create a standard by which the gases were used. He was so renowned for his work in anesthetic gases, he was asked to administer chloroform to Queen Victoria during childbirth.
Actually, Ygritte said it more like, “YOU KNOW NUFFIN’ JON SNRRRR.”
But it’s not that Jon Snow anyway.
John Snow, the English Physician is kind of a rock star in epidemiology. He helped find the source of a cholera outbreak in London in 1854. By observation and interviews of affected people and those around them, he was able to trace the outbreak to a public water pump. The city soon shut it down by removing the handle and the epidemic subsided.
Turns out the fur trade, now industry, sucks for more reasons than I thought. One of the ways the Black Death was spread in the 14th century was by fur trappers and hunters. Marmots were trapped for their fur in Central Asia and taken West along the trade routes. Around this time, many were found already dead, likely from plague, skinned and shipped off to Western Russia and Europe.
On a side note, marmots are super cute critters. I got to see some on a trip to the Olympic Peninsula.
from Plagues & Poxes: The Impact of Human History on Epidemic Disease by Alfred Jay Bollet