Public Health. What is Public Health? http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/learning/bitesize/standard/history/1830_1930/public_health_rev1.shtml. The filthy overcrowded conditions in which so many people lived made sure that Cholera spread quickly.
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Cholera epidemics:YearDeaths1831 32,0001848 62,0001854 20,0001866 14,000
The first public health measures were based upon the idea that miasmas (bad smells) caused disease. Although the idea was wrong, the measures against the miasmas involved a greater focus on cleanliness, and this improved public health.
Further measures included:
The benefits of these measures soon became clear, and by the late 19th century local councils were competing with each other to provide the best public health.