Contagion controversies on cholera and yellow fever in mid nineteenth-century Spain
The case of Nicasio Landa
in Mediterranean Quarantines, 1750–1914
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This chapter argues in favour of the thesis that no real dichotomy between the miasmic-environmentalist and contagionist theories characterised public health practices in Europe. Focusing on Spain, this study shows that quarantine, in different measures, remained in operation throughout the nineteenth century even when liberal regimes took power. Against this background, the author examines the work of military doctor and reformist Nicasio Landa whose publications, founded on his experiences of yellow fever and cholera epidemics in Spain, Morocco and the Canary Islands, presented elaborate studies on medical topography and epidemiology, on environmentalism and telluric theories. Nonetheless, in practice, Landa took a pragmatic attitude by accepting a reformed, human-centred quarantine system.

Mediterranean Quarantines, 1750–1914

Space, identity and power


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