Author(s): John Waller
A gripping insight into twenty years that profoundly changed the way we view disease. From Hippocrates to Louis Pasteur, the medical profession relied on almost wholly mistaken ideas as to the cause of infectious illness. Bleeding, induced vomiting and mysterious nostrums remained staple remedies. Surgeons, often wearing butcher's aprons caked in surgical detritus, blithely spread infection from patient to patient. Then came the germ revolution: after two decades of scientific virtuosity, outstanding feats of intellectual courage and bitter personal rivalries, doctors at last realised that infectious diseases are caused by microscopic organisms - perhaps the greatest single advance in the history of medical thought.