theory of disease
held that diseases like cholera
were caused by a miasma
(Greek language: "pollution"), a noxious form of "bad air".
The miasma theory was consistent with the observations that:
- disease was associated with poor sanitation (and hence foul odors) and that
- sanitary improvements reduced disease,
but not with the observations of microbiology
that led to the germ theory of disease
Although incorrect, the miasma theory helped motivate major improvements in sanitation.
Prominent supporters of the miasma theory included:
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