Diseases / Health Issues of the Victorian Era By: Natalie Celestino

Today one the leading causes of death in the world is from disease / health issues. Similarly, during the Victorian Era disease was also a large factor of death. At this time no one was aware or germs and bacteria, how they came about, what they did, or how to stop them. During the Victorian Era there were many diseases and health problems caused from multiple things which had significant impacts of the Victorian Society.

What were the major diseases of this time? During this significant time period there were many large diseases. One of them was Anthrax. This disease largely affected animals more than anything, but humans were very interactive with farm animals at this time thus this disease started to impact people too. This disease caused black lesions on the skin and worsened infections in the body. This disease started spreading to all people of the Victorian Era due to people eating the infected animals ("Anthrax" par.1). In addition, Cholera was another terrible epidemic. This bacteria caused severe vomiting and diarrhea. It mainly spread through water which was even worse because everyone drinks water, and as a result, was able to kill mass amounts of people ("Health" par.3). Furthermore, Typhus was also a very wide spread disease. Though it was known for the horrendous fever it caused, it also had other symptoms like a big rash, headaches, and delirium. This disease was mainly spread through insects and had large affects during famine ("English Typhus" par.1).

What caused the diseases? During the Victorian Era there were multiple things that caused people to catch disease. For example, citie's poor drainage systems and living environments were a major cause for disease. The cities were disgusting and filthy. As a result, many easily caught illnesses that could not be controlled. Furthermore, a very ironic cause of disease was doctors. One would think to believe that doctors help fix people and make them better, but this was not always the case. Due to doctors being ignorant of bacteria and the spreading of germs they didn't wear gloves or wash their hands. As a result, they would examine one patient and then go straight to another and would pass a long the disease thus causing more sickness among the people. In addition people also caused their own health issues (Wukovits 67). Their lack of hygiene made fertile grounds for disease and the spread of it. Overall, uncleanliness and the lack of knowledge lead to many illnesses.

What was the impact of diseases and health issues? Catching an illness was only part of diseases because they had significant consequences. If one was poor and caught a disease the end result was normally death. If one were to be poor and contracted an infection, they were most certainly going to die because they could hardly afford food, let alone pay for healthcare. Additionally, health issues caused over 30% of fatalities during the Victorian Era (Adam 366). This insight entails that not many could overcome sickness thus the Victorian population continued to shrink and shrink. Although epidemics caused remarkable damage, they did have one prime outcome. Disease carved the way for medical science and research. If it weren't for the encounters of health issues, many of today's medical advancements would cease to be. Clearly, the Victorian Society needed to come into contact with this kind of stuff in order to improve (Wukovits 69).

All in all, illnesses wiped out much of the population of England. But, without this happening many lives would be very different today. Today's society would most likely not be as far ahead in healthcare or in knowledge of health issues without this happening, so while illness caused a tremendous amount of bad, it also did a great deal of good for the future.

Credits:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140507102150-31515886-1843-robert-koch-discovered-the-cause-of-anthrax-in-his-flat http://www.workhouses.org.uk/MAB/ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2478853/Horrible-London-health.html http://forum.pbase.com/viewtopic.php?t=23371

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