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Salmonella Infections, Networks of Knowledge, and Public Health in Britain, 1880-1975$
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Anne Hardy

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198704973

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198704973.001.0001

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Things with Wings

Things with Wings

Chapter:
(p.64) 3 Things with Wings
Source:
Salmonella Infections, Networks of Knowledge, and Public Health in Britain, 1880-1975
Author(s):

Anne Hardy

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198704973.003.0004

This chapter uses the examples of the transmission of diarrhoea and typhoid via flies and duck eggs to illustrate the ways in which human perceptions of risk can and cannot be changed. Flies were the subject of vigorous public health awareness campaigns in the early twentieth century, despite bacteriologists’ failure to confirm the pathway of transmission in the laboratory, and they are still regarded as a major health hazard in many parts of the globe. By contrast, duck eggs only came to be popularly regarded as a health hazard in Britain very suddenly, as the result of much-publicized hospital outbreaks in 1949 and 1950. The concurrent rapid expansion of the hen egg industry caused this knowledge to be forgotten, yet with the recent re-discovery of duck eggs as a fashionable food item, their role in transmitting food poisoning has been rediscovered.

Keywords:   flies, diarrhoea, typhoid, bacteriologists, duck eggs, hen eggs

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