Vital Signs

Mapping the Ebola Outbreak Outside a London Pub

The techniques used today to fight Ebola are the same used in 1858 to stop a London cholera outbreak

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After his recent op-ed piece for The New York Times about mapping the Ebola crisis, Steven Johnson visited the John Snow pub, named after the 19th-century physician who pioneered the field of epidemiology.

John Snow’s maps of a cholera outbreak in 1858 (the subject of Johnson’s early book The Ghost Map ) helped clarify how the disease was transmitted. In this video, Johnson explains how we’re still using the same techniques to map diseases in the 21st century.

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How We Get To Next was a magazine that explored the future of science, technology, and culture from 2014 to 2019. This article is part of our Vital Signs section, on the future of human health. Click the logo to read more.