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The Hobart Typhoid Epidemic of 1887-88


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Kellaway, RG 1989 , 'The Hobart Typhoid Epidemic of 1887-88' , Social Science and Medicine, vol. 29, no. 8 , pp. 953-958 .

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Typhoid fever records for Hobart during the nineteenth century are examined and the summer of 1887/88 identified as the second year of a 5 year epidemic cycle. Three factors are used to explain the change from endemic to epidemic typhoid in the 1880s. Firstly, there was a sequence of hot, dry summers that affected water quality and the amount of water available for the cleansing of street gutters. Secondly, there were changes to the system of disposal of excrement from cesspits to poorly organised pail and single pan schemes which led to the casual disposal of sewerage in the street gutters. Thirdly the population increase of the 1880s followed 25 years of stagnation and led to overcrowding in existing, often deteriorated buildings and the placement of new dwellings on small internal allotments.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Kellaway, RG
Journal or Publication Title: Social Science and Medicine
ISSN: 0277-9536
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