History of Public Health Essay

1061 Words 5 Pages
Public health strategies and interventions have changed drastically over time. Bloodletting is one of the most ancient forms of medical interventions. It originated in the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Greece, persisting through the Medieval, Renaissance, and Enlightenment periods (PBS). Doctors used the bloodletting method for every ailment imaginable; from pneumonia, bone fractures, and even wounds, bloodletting was as trusted and popular as aspirin is today.

Public health can be dated back to the Romans whom understood even during this time frame that proper division of human waste was a necessary tenant of public health in urban areas. Even dating as early as 1000 BC, the Chinese developed the practice of variolations
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Progression through these eras resulted in the improvement of health strategies and interventions, allowing for the United States to be proactive in their preparation efforts of disease, rather than reactive to the imminent threat to human health and safety. The 20th century was the single most advancing era of public health in history, changing not only the world of medicine as we know it, but changing public perception of the world they live in .

Throughout history until the 19th century, infectious diseases, epidemics, and pandemics were thought to be the manifestation of supernatural forces and little to nothing was truly effective in preventing or treating these devastating threats to society. It was only during the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment that the long-accepted realities of society were questioned and research was conducted based on science and reason that would forever change the world we live in (Kumar, 2007). The science of epidemiology was founded by John Snow’s identification of polluted public water well as the source of an 1854 cholera outbreak in London. Shortly thereafter germ theory began to emerge and science took off.

A Cholera pandemic devastated Europe between 1829 and 1851, and was first fought by the use of what Foucault called "social medicine", which focused on flux, circulation of air,…