As we live through the Covid 19 pandemic other epidemics have been referred to in passing. Usually the Black Death and the Spanish Flu pandemic come to mind. others lie in the background, almost forgotten and yet they are just bubbling under the surface, perhaps waiting for a new host.
Cholera is almost forgotten in the Western world today but ravaged Victorian England, killing people indiscriminately in slum tenements and towns. In fact the disease has noot gone away and is a significant threat in parts of Asia and Latin America. The book Cholera- The Victorian Plague by Amanda J. Thomas is a fascinating insight into the dark world of Cholera and how it was managed in the nineteenth century. It is a journey back to the world of poor sanitation and tenement housing and a reminder that the disease is still present in parts of the world today.
I was captivated by how the disease was researched and tracked in Victorian London. The Broadwock Street Pump is a famous landmark in Central London but does not tell the entire story of how Cholera was researched and the virus identified. There is though, a common theme with the developments into this disease in that the single common theme is the importance of clean drinking water. And even today the impact of global warming has an effect on how Cholera will develop.
The book is an excellent account of Cholera and its history- and a sober reminder the problem has not gone away. Buy a copy here.