The Devistating Story of the London Cholera Epidemic Captured in Johnson's "The Ghost Map"
881 WordsFeb 2, 20184 Pages
Steven Johnson's intriguing yet stimulating historical story, "The Ghost Map," recaptures the London cholera epidemic of 1854. He concludes an accurate and engaging story of this outbreak in the history of epidemiology. Johnson who is known for his blunt and honest opinions about intersection of science and technology writes a wonderful narrative attacking the flawed proposals of the scientific community (Pogrebin, 2006).
Ghost Map demonstrates the tragic events that caused devastating destruction to this community due to this mysterious disease called cholera. Cholera is caused by a bacteria called Vibrio Cholerae (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013). During the London cholera epidemic, family after family became ill (Johnson, 2006). People developed nausea and vomiting (Johnson, 2006). Many also had abdominal cramps and diarrhea (Johnson, 2006). Almost all who were infected were completely dehydrated (Johnson, 2006). The disease spread fast and was even known to kill (Johnson, 2006). Most of the time, the disease would kill within 12 hours of contact (Johnson, 2006). Johnson explains that medical authorities were able to identify the disease as cholera because of outbreaks in Britain that had occurred in the 1830's and 1840's (Johnson, 2006).
Johnson mirrors the journey of John Snow, a doctor who became familiar with cholera during his apprenticeship (Johnson, 2006). John Snow was "The Investigator" (Johnson, 2006). The book was titled "Ghost Map" because