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Discussion Board – Miasma vs Germ Theory
Etiology of diseases: what causes diseases
A. Watch the following videos and study the materials
- Miasma theory of diseases (4.5 min) (Links to an external site.)
- Germ theory of diseases (10.5 min) (Links to an external site.)
- Miasma theory of diseases (Links to an external site.)
B. Post a paragraph discussing one of the following questions (5 pts):
- What is Miasma Theory? Why do you think people believed in it for so long?
- What is Germ Theory of disease? Do you know a disease that we cannot explain with it?
C. Then, read your class-mates posts and reply to at least two of your classmates. Your comments should be meaningful (not simply “Yeah, me too” or “I agree”). (2.5 pts for each full meaningful response). Make sure you include following in your reply:
- start by greeting the class-mate by name
- contribute to one or two of his/her discussion point with your view
- Pose any related questions you might have
- your name
D. Answer any questions you might get from class-mates
1. Miasma theory is a disproved medical theory proposed by Florence Nightingale. Florence theorized that diseases were carried throughout “bad air” also known as night air. She believed that this bad air came from rotting organic matter which made her assume that all hospitals should be as clean as possible. Her theory helped interest scientists in rotting organic matter which helped them to discover microbes that carry infectious disease. A possible reason this theory was believed in for so long is because it makes sense to stay away from rotting organic matter in order to protect your health.
1. The Miasma Theory is a theory that sickness was spread through poisonous gases in the air were what caused illness in people. People believed this theory for hundreds of years. It was interesting to learn that even after John Snow investigated the cholera outbreak in London people did not believe him about germs. I thought it was clever on his part to try and describe it as a poison in the water rather than calling them microbes. At the time this probably seemed more believable to the government officials. It was crazy to me that even after John Snow was right about the cholera outbreak coming from the water the people still did not believe in his ideas about microbes. I understand that people do not like change and do not like to admit they were wrong about something, but when it comes to the health and safety of the people I would think they would have been a little more open-minded. As more evidence came out as more experiments were done the Miasma theory was dis-proven and John Snow’s Germ theory was accepted. I guess Jon Snow knew more than nothing after all…