History of Preventive Medicine

  • Daniel M. Becker


The concept of preventive health care is not modern. Before the 20th-century biomedical revolution, important advances had been made in the understanding and prevention of infectious diseases and nutritional deficiency. Long before the advent of scientific investigation into disease processes, men were explaining disease and attempting to avoid illness. In surveying historical efforts to prevent communicable diseases and nutritional deficiency diseases three categories of prevention are apparent; (1) individual control over personal health through adherence to dietary and hygiene codes; (2) social control over health by means of isolating diseased individuals or protecting large groups of people from environmental dangers; (3) application of increased scientific understanding of disease.


Preventive Care Preventive Medicine Typhoid Fever American Public Health Association Scarlet Fever 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel M. Becker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of Virginia School of MedicineCharlottesvilleUSA

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