Posted on September 2, 2011 by Museum of Health Care
Jane and John Smith born in Portsmouth Village, now a neighbourhood of Kingston, Ontario, in 1810 and 1812 respectively had a life expectancy of forty years.
Jane and John Jones born in Kingston in 2009 and 2011 respectively look forward to a life expectancy of eighty years.
What accounts for this striking difference? (more…)
Filed under: History of Current Healthcare Issues | Tagged: history, life expectancy, medicare, sanitation, waterborne infection | Leave a Comment »
Posted on August 4, 2011 by Museum of Health Care
Drawing about the Cholera in Le Petit Journal, c. 1912
Contagious disease has challenged society throughout human history. Quarantine and isolation was practiced in response to the pandemics of bubonic plague and cholera, beginning in the Middle Ages. In the 18th and 19th centuries, smallpox led to smallpox hospitals in some large urban communities. At the same time, citizens lived with the fear of outbreaks of typhus, typhoid fever, diphtheria, scarlet fever and influenza. The effectiveness of isolation was often limited due to the lack of knowledge of the cause and transmission of these infectious diseases.
The germ theory of infectious disease was formulated during the second half of the 19th century. In the absence of specific treatment, isolation became the principle strategy to prevent the transmission of contagious disease. The Ontario Public Health Act in 1884 provided for the expropriation of land for isolation hospitals and required separate facilities for smallpox. Kingston established a Board of Health and created high standards of quarantine with a freestanding isolation hospital and the isolation of contagious disease in the home. (more…)
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: antibiotics, contagious disease, history, hospital, Kingston General Hospital, quarantine, sanitation, vaccine | 3 Comments »