ScottJanuary 29, 2018Professor Ruiz Book Review The Ghost MapIn 1850, London was densely populated and lacked an infrastructure. It was the largest city in Europe, but one of the filthiest in the world. Since most of the people who migrated to London were poor and there were limited amounts of space as cities were not built to hold mass populations, many houses were crowded with lots of people and could hold as many as 25 people at any given time in close proximities. This was the first real city as the rest of the world was still rural.
Despite an increased population sanitation system were not established. Sewer systems often clogged and required “night soil men” to come and collect the excrement and dispose of it in the outer realms of the city. Despite this method of removal of waste, many inhabitants could not afford to pay night soil men so instead, they dispose of their excrement in cesspools. The selected methods of disposal of excrement are vital to the rapid spread of cholera as time progresses in London.In 1854, a child became violently ill. The mother Sarah Lewis disposed of the infant’s soiled diapers in a cesspool in the bottom of her basement.
Soon after the mother’s actions, cholera would begin to flood the Soho community. Cholera outbreak had been in check for most years as eating human excrement was taboo. Cholera does not pass via contact with infected objects or people instead it must be ingested. Due to this fact, Cholera would need an optimal breeding ground in which people ate excrement and London was the perfect place. Due to human crowding in urban areas in human filth increased. Lines were crossed, and drinking water was contaminated with waste.
For instance, the book states, “The contamination of drinking water in dense urban settlements did not merely affect the number of V. cholera circulating through the small intestines of mankind. It also greatly increased the lethality of the bacteria. “