Disease Maps: Epidemics on the Ground

Disease Maps: Epidemics on the Ground

by Tom Koch
Pub. Date:
University of Chicago Press


View All Available Formats & Editions
Current price is , Original price is $45.0. You
Select a Purchase Option
  • purchase options
    $35.77 $45.00 Save 21% Current price is $35.77, Original price is $45. You Save 21%.
  • purchase options


Disease Maps: Epidemics on the Ground

In the seventeenth century, a map of the plague suggested a radical idea—that the disease was carried and spread by humans. In the nineteenth century, maps of cholera cases were used to prove its waterborne nature. More recently, maps charting the swine flu pandemic caused worldwide panic and sent shockwaves through the medical community. In Disease Maps, Tom Koch contends that to understand epidemics and their history we need to think about maps of varying scale, from the individual body to shared symptoms evidenced across cities, nations, and the world.  

Disease Maps begins with a brief review of epidemic mapping today and a detailed example of its power. Koch then traces the early history of medical cartography, including pandemics such as European plague and yellow fever, and the advancements in anatomy, printing, and world atlases that paved the way for their mapping. Moving on to the scourge of the nineteenth century—cholera—Koch considers the many choleras argued into existence by the maps of the day, including a new perspective on John Snow’s science and legacy. Finally, Koch addresses contemporary outbreaks such as AIDS, cancer, and H1N1, and reaches into the future, toward the coming epidemics. Ultimately, Disease Maps redefines conventional medical history with new surgical precision, revealing that only in maps do patterns emerge that allow disease theories to be proposed, hypotheses tested, and treatments advanced.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226449357
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 06/30/2011
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 10.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author


Tom Koch is adjunct professor of medical geography at the University of British Columbia; director of Information Outreach, Ltd.; and a prolific writer, researcher, and public speaker specializing in the fields of, gerontology, bioethics, medical cartography and public health. He is the author of fifteen books, including most recently Cartographies of Disease.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Part I. The Idea That Is Disease

Chapter 1. Moving Forward: Cartographies of Disease

Chapter 2. Mapping Symptoms, Making Disease

Chapter 3. Body and World: The Sixteenth Century

Chapter 4. Diseases in Cities: The Neighborhoods of Plague

Chapter 5. The Yellow Fever Thing

Part II. Cholera: The Exemplar

Chapter 6. “Asiatic Cholera”: India and Then the World

Chapter 7. Bureaucratic Cholera

Chapter 8. John Snow’s Cholera

Chapter 9. South London Choleras: William Farr, John Snow, and John Simon

Chapter 10. Choleric Broad Street: The Neighborhood Disease

Chapter 11. Cholera, the Exemplar

Part III. The Legacy and Its Future

Chapter 12. Cancer as Cholera



Notes on the Illustrations

Illustration Credits


Works Cited and Consulted


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews