Lecture 9 - Asiatic Cholera (I): Personal Reflections
recorded by: Yale University
published: Aug. 19, 2014, recorded: February 2010, views: 1374
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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Professor Snowden describes the historical detective work that went into the research and writing of Naples in the Time of Cholera, his study of the 1884 and 1911 epidemics of Asiatic cholera that struck Italy. The latter epidemic is of particular interest, because the official historiography of the disease has long confined its outbreaks in Western Europe to the nineteenth century. Through his investigation, Snowden discovered that there was in fact an epidemic on Italian shores in 1911, and that its absence from subsequent histories was the result of concerted efforts of concealment on the part of Italian and U.S. authorities. The story of this successful concealment sheds light not only on the history of Asiatic cholera in the early twentieth century, but also on more recent public health campaigns that have involved concealment, such as China's response to the 2002 SARS epidemic.
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