Public Health Failure When Complex

  • Bruce R. Schatz
  • Richard B. BerlinJr.
Part of the Health Informatics book series (HI)


Public Health has suffered a long series of setbacks, some of its own making, some due to larger societal issues. In the nineteenth century, the rise of the germ theory of infectious disease resulted in an enormous wave of success, each time concentrating on a particular problem. As individual infectious diseases were identified, collections of symptoms were associated with the particular disease. The subsequent identification of a specific agent that lead to that disease meant groups of patients could be established as infected and then methods could be sought to control the infection, either through public works or through medicine and later antibiotics.


Nineteenth Century Heart Attack Life Insurance Rheumatic Heart Disease Average Description 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce R. Schatz
    • 1
  • Richard B. BerlinJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical Information Science, Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA

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