Article ID: CBB001214576

Scientific Strategy and Ad Hoc Response: The Problem of Typhoid in America and England, C. 1910--50 (2014)


In the early twentieth century, death rates from typhoid in European cities reached an all time low. By contrast, death rates in America were six times as high, and the American public health community began a crusade against the disease in 1912. In the 1920s, hopes for greater control of the disease focused not just on sewers and drinking water supplies, but on the newly established scientific means of immunization, the supervision of food-related pathways of infection, and the management of healthy carriers. The management of carriers, which lay at the core of any typhoid control program, proved an intractable problem, and typhoid remained a public health concern. America and England both struggled with control of the disease during the interwar period. Coming from different starting points, however, their approaches to the problem differed. This paper compares and contrasts these different public health strategies, considers the variable quality of support provided by bacteriological laboratories, and demonstrates that accidental typhoid outbreaks continued to happen up to the outbreak of World War II.

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Authors & Contributors
Jones, M.
Richardson, Nigel
Hanley, James G.
Steere-Williams, Jacob
Aderinto, Saheed
McCrea, Heather L.
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Social History of Medicine
Journal of World History
Bulletin of the History of Medicine
Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History
Medical History
University of New Mexico Press
Johns Hopkins University Press
University of Massachusetts Press
University of Toronto Press
University of California, Davis
Public health
Medicine and government
Disease and diseases
Public policy
Time Periods
20th century, early
19th century
20th century, late
20th century
21st century
United States
San Francisco, CA
Sri Lanka
Great Britain
World Health Organization (WHO)

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