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How the Victorians struggled to overcome diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and scarlet fever in their cities This is the fascinating story of how a small group of dedicated individuals fought opposition from politicians, taxpayers, and often their own colleagues to overcome disease in overwhelming numbers, and make the country a safer place for everyone to live. Victorian Britain was the world's industrial powerhouse, supplying a global demand for manufactured goods. As it changed from an agricultural to an industrial economy, people swarmed into the towns and cities. Overcrowding and filthy living conditions were a recipe for disaster, and diseases such as cholera, typhoid, scarlet fever, smallpox, and puerperal (childbed) fever were a part of everyday life for town- and city-dwellers. However, thanks to a dedicated band of doctors, nurses, midwives, scientists, engineers, and social reformers, by the time the Victorian era became the Edwardian, they were almost eradicated, and no longer a constant source of fear.

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